Opposition Message to Mayor Gets Response from Madison

This is a message from former Denver resident Yvette Freeman to Mayor
John Hickenlooper. Freeman oppose admissions based events and
supports a dedicated festival park venue. District 8 City
Councilwoman Carla Madison responds to Freeman.

Mayor Hickenlooper,

I am writing with the hope that you, City Council and others will
reconsider your support to commercialize Denver Parks. As a Denver
native and former 15 year resident who has lived one block north of
the City Park Golf Course I am also making an appeal for those long
time residents whose voice is rarely heard. Residents who live in
close proximity bear a unique burden when special events are held in
the parks.

I recall being awakened in the morning when a race or special event
was held at City Park as I could hear what was being broadcast over
the loud speakers. Music from concerts also echoed loud and clear.
Friends and family who live close to city parks complain about the
impact of parking demands when special events occur. Additionally,
these events stifle the ability for regular users to access and
utilize the parks.

I feel strongly that the parks should be preserved as one of Denver’s
treasured natural assets. Aside from occasional use by non-profits
raising money for worthy causes, they should be reserved for citizens
and visitors to enjoy, not be made available for profit making
ventures, even if dollars are earned for the city. We inherited these
parks from past generations; it is our responsibility to uphold the
legacy which established Denver’s rich park system. It is our role to
care for, protect and maintain these exceptionally beautiful green
spaces.

Last night, I returned from a week long Denver visit and the image of
the lovely parks is freshly etched in my memory. I once took these
spaces for granted and assumed that they would always remain protected
and pure. I feel deep disappointment that their existence as the
beautiful public spaces that I have known is now being threatened.

Denver is an incredible city, that has employed great discipline and
mindfulness while envisioning and shaping an urban environment that
offers an enviable quality of life. I managed the Downtown Denver
Business Improvement District and the 16th Street Mall for nearly 7
years. I continue to do the same type of work today in the
Washington, DC area. With great pride I frequently reference many of
Denver’s successful ventures. Why not create another unique
venue…one for profit earning entities, in or near downtown where
parking or easy access to light rail is readily available? Without
burdening citizens who live near long established parks, this option
would allow existing hotels, restaurants, other businesses and the
City of Denver to benefit. Denver is the one city that has what it
takes to pioneer this type of venture.

I still own property in City Park North, and I gladly pay property
taxes to the City of Denver. I intend to one day return to my
birthplace as a full time resident. Though I expect continued change
to occur in my birthplace, I do hope that the parks will remain much
the same. Until then, my frequent visits serve a wonderful reminder
that the city which I still call “home” is a phenomenal place!

Sincerely,

Yvette J. Freeman

In a message dated 8/16/2010 3:10:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
Carla.Madison@denvergov.org writes:

Dear Yvette,

I appreciate your concerns and as a neighbor on York Street across
from the Park, I too am one of the folks that is impacted by the
activities in the Park. In contrast, however, I enjoy the music that
I hear wafting over and in fact go out of my way to check out the
festivities that go on in the Park. It’s why I bought my house here
20 years ago.

But getting to your real point about the new admission based events
policy; we are hoping that it is restrictive enough so that the
neighbors and the Park don’t notice much of an increase in number of
events. The City Park Jazz concerts that happen every Sunday in the
early summer were getting up to 10,000 guests which is more than any
paid event will ever be allowed. We are able to require much better
parking plans and noise and traffic studies from these type of events
that we have been able to ask from the free non-profit events that
have been held up to this point. I really hope that you can continue
to feel the same way about the Parks as the years continue and when
you hopefully move back the Parks will still be as green and usable as
ever.

Thank you for your letter,

Carla

Leave a Reply