Foul Call? – Town should think long and hard before it locks tennis courts at Ingleside Park

Thursday, June 17, 2010
By Transcript Staff

Acts of vandalism at the tennis courts at Ingleside Park have become rampant lately (why the young punks who are committing these acts have chosen the tennis courts is anyone’s guess) and to such an extent that Town Manager James McKenna suggested to the Town Council that the gates to the courts should be locked.

Those who would use the courts then would have to go get a key and return it in order to play tennis. Beyond the inconvenience to would-be tennis players, locking the gates to our public tennis courts obviously sends a very negative message, both within and without Winthrop, about the sort of community we are. Further, for children during the summer who might on a whim decide to go play some tennis, locking the gates essentially would shut them out.

On the other hand, if the vandals continue with their destructive ways, the courts will become unplayable and the constant repairs obviously will be very expensive. We’re sure the town’s tennis players would rather be put to the inconvenience of signing out and returning a key than having to deal with unplayable courts.

We hope that the Town Council looks into the matter carefully and comes up with a common sense solution to the problem. For example, if it is true that most of the damage is being done by night crawling miscreants, then why can’t the gates be locked at nightfall and reopened at 7:00 in the morning?

Yes, it is a sad state of affairs that we even have to be talking about taking such drastic action, but we must deal with reality. Yes, vandalism seems to come and go in a community and usually it is caused by just a handful of wayward youths who eventually move on.

But the problem must be addressed and input from the community, especially those who play tennis, must be taken into account.

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