I would like to comment on the article "Scooters create argument with Hollidaysburg neighbors" in the Oct. 15 Mirror.
A group of children, most of whom do not reside in the area, have been riding scooters unsupervised on the sidewalk in a business district near the Blair County Prison.
I am not talking about 10 minutes now and then, but extended unsupervised riding on the sidewalk by minors in a very busy area of town.
I know the children because they often jump over my fence to pick up their toys or to play with my dog. And I can understand why parents would be upset at me enforcing the ordinance, but the fact remains it was enacted 25 years ago for a reason.
I live across from the prison, and to me, unattended children on the sidewalk is a serious public safety concern.
I had a discussion about children on the sidewalk with a neighbor, and he and I disagreed. I maintain he threatened me, and at that point, it seemed apparent to me that he was unreasonable.
Unfortunately the neighbors were misinformed by a borough official that it was OK to skate on the sidewalk. I disagreed on the Residential/Business Zoning, and Section 220.2 of the Borough's Code of Ordinances and asked our solicitor at the next council meeting to clarify this. It may be time for us to look at rehiring a full-time code enforcement officer in Hollidaysburg to do a better job at educating the public and enforcing the ordinances.
I resent the statement that I am "holding the area hostage," when in fact I see it as the opposite.
As a taxpayer and resident of the area, I have the same right to enjoy my home as the neighbors have and ask that the existing ordinances are enforced. Nobody wants to fine a child, and nobody wants to see this argument escalate.
You can vote me out of office if you do not like me, but do not harass me at home.
I spent nearly half my professional career advocating for children's rights for the underprivileged and undeserved members of society.
I have helped to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for international relief agencies and child advocacy centers.
My record speaks for itself.
To change a single ordinance to benefit one's personal interests and not the best interest of the community is unconstitutional.
If there is a good reason that this ordinance needs changed after 25 years, to allow minors to skate freely and unattended on public sidewalks in front of the county prison, to benefit the greater good of our community, then I would gladly support the change in my ward.
Until someone produces just reason for this change to occur, I continue to believe that having children unsupervised on the street and sidewalks next to the Blair County Prison, the Booking Station, the county's parking garage, the magistrate's office and other high traffic business areas is a public safety concern.
I believe we are sending the wrong message to our children if we teach them that by threatening and intimidating public officials they can get their way.
I hope members of the community support me on this issue.
Editorial's note: Timothy Beresnyak is a Hollidaysburg Borough councilman.