The cleanliness and orderliness of the city’s parks has been a concern of the City Council this year during budget season.
At Monday night’s meeting, District 6 Councilor Giovanni Recupero offered up two motions, co-sponsored by District 4 Councilor Enio Lopez, to help improve safety at city parks.
The first asked the city manager to impose fines on those who rent city parks and don’t clean up after themselves as well as having signs posted prohibiting the drinking of alcohol in city parks. The second motion requested increased police presence in the city’s larger parks.
“A couple of weeks ago, there was an incident at Highland Park where there was all kinds of drinking and maybe 90 to 100 cases of beer,” said Recupero. “DPW workers were surrounded by them and they were in fear for their lives; they were being attacked by the people there.”
Recupero said he hoped putting No Drinking signs at the parks would help stop that kind of event from happening again.
“I don’t think that anybody who goes there should have to worry about taking their children inside the park and someone has been drinking might go up to them and want to do some harm to them,” said Recupero. “I believe this is a good thing to put the signs and at least let people know you can’t drink alcohol within the park.”
As for his second motion, Recupero said he’s spoken to City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and been informed that there have been increased police patrols in the city parks.
“If this can happen in one park, then it could happen in every other big park in the city,” said Recupero. “So it is in the best interest of the city to send a message out to these people that you cannot do this in a park. Parks are there for the enjoyment and the pleasure of the people who live there, and they should feel safe going inside of a park.”
In other business, Councilor-At-Large Damali Vidot asked Ambrosino to look into the possibility of the city creating a memorial to victims of violence in Chelsea.
“I just want the city manager to get back to the council to see if it is possible,” said Vidot. “I was talking to our administrative assistant Fatima and another young person who was in the building and I was talking about my niece, who everybody knows was murdered last year, and thye were talking about people and losses they have experienced while there were in school.”
Vidot pointed to the Peace Park in Charlestown that memorialized people who have died due to substance abuse, and said it would be nice if Chelsea had a location where residents could go to collectively mourn the people they have lost in the city.