How Did Evansville’s Parks get into such a State of Neglect


Patrick McBride

Patrick McBride Speaks out on the Evansville Parks Situation

How Did Evansville’s Parks get into such a State of Neglect

I often wonder how and why our elected officials allowed the Evansville City Parks to get into the dilapidated shape they are in today. What I have come to understand is that no one is perfect but that one should also never stop to endeavor to make things better. No one can be everywhere all the time but failure to notice the deteriorating condition of Evansville’s Parks is simply negligence. Did they turn a blind eye to the advanced state decay? I don’t know the answer, but what I do know is that when people ask for help the last thing an elected official should do is to tune them out. It seems as though that is what has happened and no one seems to want to be accountable.

It took two individuals Dr. Neil Troost and Chester Downs to bring it all to light. How many others were aware or have had negative experiences with the parks and were afraid to come forward or had such a lack of faith in local government that they thought their efforts would be useless? These two individuals didn’t want publicity nor did they want to seek celebrity status. What they wanted and continue to want is much more than that. They want what we all want, for our citizens and children to have a safe and pleasurable environment in Evansville’s public parks. They seek to reclaim places for kids and parents alike to feel comfortable showing up not to just the parks in the 2nd Ward but all of Evansville.

They and I want a responsive system to alert others of the dangers for families in the Evansville parks. We as human beings seem to have forgotten our biggest role in life, and that is the caring of others, especially children. We have forgotten to slow down and take a look around to make sure we are aware of what is going on around us.

I have discussed the park ranger program and how there seemed to be less problems back when there were Park Rangers in Evansville. Some say EPD does a better job than the Park Rangers did but fact is that as great of a job that EPD does in our community their resources are stretched to the limit. I prefer that the EPD concentrate on serious criminal activity such as drug dealers, prostitution, and violence in our neighborhoods. The EPD should be called in by Park Rangers when serious crimes are being perpetrated in our parks.

We have to figure out a way of allocating funds to curb the vandalism and to reclaim our once renowned city park system. I am encouraged to learn that both private and public funds are starting to be considered to reclaim the parks. These are steps in the right direction but they are only small steps.

What people thirst for in government more than anything else is leadership. We need leaders and not followers. No park in this city should strike fear into the hearts of our citizens and no park should be littered to the point of being unsanitary or unsafe.

I am committed to seeing Evansville’s Parks safe and attractive. If the people of the 2nd Ward honor me with elected office, I pledge as a member of the Evansville City Council to make the reclamation of the parks and especially the Vann-Pollack Park in the 2nd Ward where I live as one of my most important priorities. I am eager to work with anyone at anytime including my fellow Council members and our next Mayor to make this happen.

Patrick McBride, Candidate
Democratic Nomination for Evansville City Council


  1. Patrick, all that sounds wonderful and politically enlightened, but …

    The deterioration of the parks has been a longterm and painfully obvious decline. Where were you as it progressed downhill? Do you not have a park near your home? Have you not taken your kids or kids from your neighborhood or church to a park for baseball or other recreation? Have you not visited public swimming pools over the past two decades? Has your busy life as a fireman caused temporary blindness?

    Also as a fireman, you must be familiar with the City Maintenance Department who service your firehouses on a regular basis. Have you never spoken with the electrician, the plumber, the welder, the carpenter, the HVAC mechanic, or other City Maintenance crew members, all of whom have worked also with the Parks Department for many decades maintaining parks, pools, and building infrastructure?

    Remember when City Maintenance was located on Diamond Ave. in the same compound with Parks Maintenance? Remember when those two departments were bustling with employees and equipped with vast resources to service our parks and municipal buildings? What happened to all those people? How many parks maintenance workers remain out of those previous dozens of people to mow the grounds, service the lighting, maintain the pools, keep the discarded hypodermic needles out of the sandboxes?

    I’m glad you have a plan. I hope you move forward with your plan whether you win or lose the election. But where have you been for the last two decades of decline?

  2. Community Leadership from the City Council has been in short supply, but that appears to be on the cusp of changing, with the primarys offering some needed help for Dr. Adams and Mr.McGinn.
    Vote in the Primary!

  3. according to Missy Mosby, all Vann park needs is 3 new dusk to dawn lights and they should be installed in the next three months or so. Don’t forget that Anthony Oates park and Lorraine park, also in the second ward need some help too

  4. The entrance to Lloyd pool is a deplorable. the ceiling is rusted and crumbling and not a good way to represent Evansville to all the visiting swimming teams. The pool on the other hand isn’t bad. As for the local parks, I must ask what we the citizen are doing to upkeep them. My son and I pull weeds, pick up trash and have even brought in a pick up truck of sand to our local park (next to lloyd pool). We must take pride in our local park and work to build stronger neighborhood associations so we can accomplish the minor fixes. As a group, it is easier to influence local polititions to invest the money for the larger fixes. Join your local neighborhood association and start monthly/bianually park clean up parties. They will help the parks and improve your neighborhood.

    • Wonderful ideas Eric. The people of the town will be vital to rebuilding the parks. A little know situation is that there is a contract between the City of Evansville and the Teamsters that makes it legally challenging and expensive for large groups of citizens to become park stewards. Now there is allot of vigilante type of work like you have been doing and it is all appreciated but if it became widespread and a grievance was filed the City of Evansville would have to pay the Teamsters overtime rates for the work you willingly do for free. It is in Article 34 of the collective bargaining agreement that we have written about in the past.

    • The deteriorated condition of the ceiling and other metal parts at Lloyd Pool is a result of chlorine induced rust. The ceiling use to open. But all the metal parts are corroded and will not operate. Why? Well, because for over 3 decades the parks department has been using gas chlorination rather than liquid chlorination. Gas chlorine separates from pool water as chlorine gas that then attacks the metal parts in the ceiling and ceiling opening mechanisms. Why does the parks department use gas chlorine rather than liquid chlorine at all the pools? M-O-N-E-Y. You can’t have it both ways. You want good maintenance, you gotta pay good taxes. You want low taxes, you get low maintenance. The parks department has suffered the low tax mentality for many, many years. And now the parks are showing the wear and tear results.

  5. Where has mcbride been the last 4 years. Why hasn’t he stepped forward to help before now. I guess if you don’t even take time to vote unless your running for office you really don’t know what is going on. Missy is and will continue working hard for the 2nd ward.

    • I’m sure Mr McBride has been the same place the rest of us (you and me) has been…that is paying taxes and expecting the city to provide the necessary services dictated by that tax base. While it’s true that every election year promises are made, the burden or blame can be put squarely on our current elected officials from the mayors office on down to Ms Mosby for the condition our parks and the city in general. To say that any tax payer has the responsibility or obligation to clean up the parks or dig out sewers is deflecting the blame to cover up the short comings of the current crop of elected officials. I doubt anyone has the solution but to idly sit by and let our infrastructure collapse around us while building a multi-million sports arena in the worst possible location is in MHO a dereliction of duty by all parties involved. It’s way past time to throw these clowns out and get new fresh faces and ideas, could they possibly do a worse job? I doubt it.

      • You can throw all the clowns out you want, and replace them with new clowns. Makes no difference until you fund the necessary maintenance. That means raise the taxes necessary to fund the maintenance. Can’t have it both ways. Low taxes, low maintenance. Simple math.

        • RAISE TAXES- is that the BEST any bozo here can do?? How about mostrosity called ” The JON’ in downtown- $200 MILLION and growing!! How about those SEWER repairs on Wienbach, which have NOT alleviated the flooding?? Geez, you folks sound like a bunch of DEMOCRATS- wait, I guess you are!!

      • Who said anything about cleaning sewers or parks. I just hadn’t from mcbride on anything. Once the city started looking at the fire dept. he decided to get involved. He hadn’t even taken the time to vote. You mention sewers, it looks to me they are working on them all over the city. I know they all didn’t go bad over the last 4 or 8 years.

  6. The money is there….it’s the proper allocation of the resource that is lacking, I know I pay more in property taxes, local income taxes, usage taxes than ever before, the city has cut spending in various departments to divert the money to other departments, you can’t blame the various workers in the departments for lack of resources when the money isn’t allocated, but ask the mayor how many department heads were asked to return allocated funds, or how many department heads were ask to cut spending and return allocated funds back to the general fund. It’s a shell game that has been played out over and over by our current elected officials, the bottom line is that if we don’t have the money to provide the basic services that are required where did we suddenly find the money to build a new arena, yes I know bond issues to raise the money yet the bonds do need to be paid back…will that be yet another opportunity to cut budgets, decrease services, and ask the tax base to pick up the slack? It’s all about proper allocation of funds and using the taxes for the intended purpose they are collected for in the first place, basically good stewardship of public funds. Basic common sense along with your simple math would go a long way in giving the public what they want instead of a reactive approach to squeaky wheels as we are now seeing in the parks fiasco. But then again it is JMHO.

    • You make good points. But here’s the truth about the city council: They have someone write up fancy schmancy position papers when they’re running for office. They run as “an outsider.” They say what plays to the current mob mentality. Then when elected, they spend about the first 6 months backsliding into the the niche prepared for them by the caucus of which they all become an integral peg in the playboard. Only true mavericks are those who are rich and those in the minority (opposition) party, and then it’s still it’s just an act in a never ending comedic drama.

      • While I’d agree with you 100% we as voters are only given so many choices, in a lot of cases it’s the devil we know vs the devil we don’t know, problem is the current crop of “clowns” both in office and running for office would appear to be more of the “ol boys club” that has been running the city for most of it’s existence. The notable exception to this is a small handful of mavericks like H Dan Adams who I truly do believe has the best interest of the public at heart. I also believe (and seems to be proving it more and more each day) that Rick Davis is not part of this political structure, the mere fact that Owens and Company did not support him speaks volumes. My point being is that we know what we currently have, we have a very good idea what we will get if certain people are elected or reelected. Personally I feel that a change needs to take place across the board or from the top down if you like, public representation was never intended to be a career but a opportunity for individuals to serve in the public trust for the betterment of the community, give these folks an opportunity/chance to see what they can do, if they fail they will be voted out in the next cycle….but if you never give them a chance you’ll truly never know if they are sincere or not. Personally I have faith, maybe that’s very optimistic but I’m willing to give McBride, Davis, Lindsey, Adams and a few others a chance to change things for the better, could it really be any worse then what we have? Besides I’m really interested in what dirt will be uncovered on the current gang if Davis & Company is elected might turn out to be a best seller. LOL!

        • I think you’re coming a sincere point of view. However, I think your reasoning is naive (meant as constructive criticism), and you don’t really know the entire back story on your little band of mavericks. Like what is and has been their true motivation for attacking “the good ol’ boys?” Has it been because they truly want to effect reforms? Are they coming with completely altruistic intentions? Or are they reacting to past events where they’ve not been able to secure a city job for their son, or because they perceived a personal slight from one or another of their current and past opponents and political targets? Like someone didn’t donate to a past campaign. Or someone didn’t put a yard sign in their tire shop window. Or someone did put a yard sign in their commercial lot, but it was the wrong yard sign. Or any number of OTHER PETTY POLITICAL GARBAGE ISSUES … not anything about executive decisions or legislative matters ACTUALLY A PART OF GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITES?

          Just proving you can take out small time township official over some silly school yard tiff only proves you can take out a small time township official. It doesn’t prove you’re ready for the big league.

          • You really hit the nail on the head. You really do know what this whole political fight is all about.

        • Do you really know the people that you are supporting.
          Davis hasn’t made a executive decision since he has been in office besides what color ink to put in the printer.
          Adams just wants to talk until someone start clapping.
          Don’t really know much about McBride except he never thought it was important to vote until the city took a look at the firehouses. Lindsey, well enough said.

          • Rick has made quite a few executive decisions since taking office and what color of ink that goes in a printer doesn’t even scratch the surface. McBride, he has finally seen the light and realized that if someone new does not get in office and stand up for what is right, then not only the EFD but the parks, the policed department, etc will go down hill quicker than ever. Adams, he does not give in. He stands up for the citizens and fights for what he believes is right not what the administration believes. Lindsey, he will win this election. He will put his foot down on the useless spending, he will enhance the 6th Ward and will make it a greater place to live.

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