Park Behavior Improving?

There were mixed opinions among Bellevue Council members last week as to whether the improvement of youths in Bayne Park has improved in recent weeks.

People frequenting the park, as well as elected officials, complained about foul language, fighting and vandalism occurring, primarily in the area of the basketball courts.

Council member Joe Scioscia said at the pre-Council meeting on April 28 that he was told by a parent that the youths behaved only when police officers or other authority figures were present. The Parks and Recreation Committee requested that police officers who check on the park get out of their cars and walk around the area.

Safety Committee chairman Ron Deer said that he had been spending time at the park talking with the youths, and that they had fixed a broken hoop and even brought their own nets to replace vandalized nets. Deer said that several adults from the community have been spending time at the courts as well, and that the language has improved.

"I’m encouraged," said Council president Rich Furis, noting that it appeared that people were "taking ownership" of the park and courts as Council had hoped.