City to Replace Vandalized Playground Equipment

The new $102,000 playset will be installed by March.

Finkbiner Park will get a brand new playset in March to replace playground equipment damaged by vandals overnight in October.

La Shawn Butler, Community Services Director, said sometime in October vandals damaged the large tower and cut through the slide deck of the playset. The damage was discovered the next morning, and the playset had to be blocked off.

Butler said the damaged portion is unsafe and will need to be replaced since new parts won’t be compatible.

“The playground is heavily used by children from ages one to 12 years old,” said Butler. “The part that was damaged was one of the most popular parts of the playground.”

The playground equipment will cost the city $102,000 to replace. Butler said the funds will come from capital reserves.

While the replacement of the playground was not originally budgeted, no other city item or program will be impacted, as capital reserves are budgeted for unexpected expenses, said Butler. The new playset should be installed by mid March.

Janek January 29, 2012 at 03:19 PM
How does a playground of mostly plastic cost $102,000 thousand dollars? Do city officials stop to think about this? Do they not try to find better solutions or does throwing money at problems fix everything so they do not have to think and use their God given brains? Can we not put out a call to local construction companies and handymen to donate their time to build the states BEST playground with a kings castle and queens tower? The lumber might cost $2,000 tops and it would be done in an afternoon. As a side note, if something is ever vandalized, then you go to the local hardware store and replace the piece vandalized, not spend $102,000 for an entirely new playground. Back in 1990s I started a company. One of my brother decided to do the same. I bought a pine wooden chair for $9 and a pine wooden desk for $29 at a local swedish furniture store. I had little money at that time. The brother bought lavish items to get his business off the ground. Plush leather chair, solid oak desk, fine quill pen, a color laser printer which costed an arm and a leg and so on. Guess which company survived? Guess which brother blames the other brother for their problems? True story.
The Brang Team January 29, 2012 at 03:47 PM
As a member of the Community Service Commission, I and my fellow commissioners posed these same questions. We got numerous bids and made the best decisions possible. Finkbiner Park is a landmark and is used by so many community members that we need to make sure the best and safest equipment is used. I am a tax-payer myself and all the commissioners look at these decisions through the same eyes as the community members. These items are all discussed and voted on in public forum and I'm amazed at the lack of participation from the community at these meetings. I would love to see community members vocalize their opinions while the items are on the table instead of after the fact and from the safety of their keyboard. I look forward to the new equipment being installed and sharing the same park I grew up in with my family!
Virgil January 29, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Excellant response to the short sighted thoughts of Janek. Community participation is bleak and most citizens trust in the commitees and boards to do the right thing. Consistentaly low voter turnout is another example of lack of participation in civic affairs. Hopefully the new equiptment has individual components available for future repairs or replacement if necessary. Another thought......does this stuff come with a warranty? I would like to think it does.
David L.Miller January 29, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Nicholle, When I first saw this story, that was my thought also $102,000 !. I admit I do not know all the facts, but as a Contractor I know what I can build with $100k in today’s economy. Now about the lack of community involvement, I will tell you why I think it is. When I have tried voicing my concerns or opinions to city or school officials I mostly get no answer, no accountability and no follow up to my concerns. When I was involved in trying to have the school board address the communities concerns about block scheduling at GHS, I was told I was the only person who had concerns. All I wanted was to understand the program before the decision was made and have the community involved in the decision. I made an effort to get some parents together, because without a large group of citizens it seems, one does not get heard. The block scheduling decision was made unanimously by the teachers union, without a vote from the school board. This is why the community at large has given up being involved. There is no point in spending our precious time away from our families to speak to a board and not be heard or have your simple questions answered.
Bill Carr January 29, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I don't know why the city doesn't get the local Boy Scout troop involved in something like this. A local scout troop was involved doing extensive work building a river rock wall at Big Dalton campground. Something like this could be done as a Eagle scout project.
Gary Boyer January 30, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Nicholle, Thanks for a great response. Many people don't realize that many decisions made by the City are made after consideration from Commissions made up mostly of citizen volunteers. The City of Glendora is blessed to have so many who do participate. It may seem like a lack of participation at a lot of meetings, but more than likely, the lack of participation means that you are doing something right. I've never been at a meeting in the City where my opinion has been dismissed or not taken seriously. Now, I think if we got to the bottom of the expense of the equipment, it will be that laws in California are unfortunately such that we can't just get a bunch of volunteers together to build some new equipment. I remember having a disagreement with a building inspector years ago when the inspector told me that he was just doing his job and if I really felt my issue was unfair, we need to replace the lawmakers in Sacramento that make the laws and not get upset with those who enforce. them.
R. L. L. January 30, 2012 at 06:26 AM
Well if you had paid more attention to what actually was going on in your nieghborhood/City instead of having your head stuck in the sand like a Damned useless Ostich. Maybe the Repairs would'nt have been needed at all. To often people like you are not concerned about whats going on around you, until it is to late and money has to be spent for the comunity. P.S. Glad the $9 dallor chair held up.
EZDuzit January 30, 2012 at 04:03 PM
One word: liability. I would assume that the city can't risk allowing third party volunteers to do city work that directly affects children. The first time a child seriously injured themselves on Scout-repaired equipment and if the parents were litigious, they could sue the city for a bundle (much more than $102,000)...I am assuming that as long as the city gets the work done "professionally" their insurance carrier covers it.
Sheryl January 30, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Hmmm. Liability. Too many laws. We cant use voluteers? We are back to government protecting us instead of instead of common sense. So sad.
B.C. January 30, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Anyone can put it together, it just needs to be inspected by a Certified Playground Inspector during the process. Using a local group would likely shave a couple of thousand off the price, but not much more. If you have time to post feable comments here you should have enough free time to look on the website for Miracle Playground equipment or Little Tikes Playground equipment and check prices for yourself...this is pretty much in line with industry standard.
Janek January 30, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Hahaha! "Certified Playground Inspector". You've got to be kidding me. Ive heard it all now. That position should be worth at least $250,000, right? Every quarter the CPI puts an approved sticker on the playground. Let me guess, its a part time position, right?
LG January 30, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I understand the frustion, but we need to think more positive about this. This equipment will be around for at least another 20 years. Trampled on my many children and adults. If you have been to Finkbiner and watch the play in action, there is some serious abuse and there were safety issues with the old equipment that had nothing to do with Vandels. It is to the benifit of our children there are strick rules in place for safety equipment. Don't think about the large lump sum, but break it down over the next 20 years of the cost. This is an important issue and we don't want to cut corners on something like this.
EZDuzit January 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I would prefer the concept of community volunteers fixing things instead of outside companies who overcharge, but that world is gone since lawsuits and insurance restrictions have run rampant...and yes it is sad.
EZDuzit January 30, 2012 at 10:49 PM
I, for one, have no problem with the replacement of this equipment and I have no children in my life who will benefit from it. If the city wants to levy more taxes to benefit the kids in this community...hit me.
B.C. January 31, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Not a City position brainiac...not everything that gets done is done by someone worthy of a $200k salary...unless you're crafting $7 furniture chairs. It's actually a federal requirement that was implemented in 2006 that people inspecting the install of playground equipment must be certified. A lot of cities just hire one because it's $300 to $400 per system plus the inspector is required to carry the liability insurance on the certification thereby releasing the City of any liability when it comes to the correct installation procedures. Hire an inspector and use volunteers would be ideal OR hire a cheap furniture maker to do it and hope he can stay off the motherland's vodka long enough to get the job done.
Yolanda Miller April 18, 2012 at 04:46 AM
My kids and I just saw the new playground at the Easter Egg hunt a couple weekends ago and HOLY COW!! Thank you, Glendora!! For so long, I've lamented that it seems like every playground seems to be made out of the same ol' boring cookie-cutter template with nothing interesting or challenging for the kids to play on. I never really voiced my complaints, because honestly, I knew I should be thankful that the had more than cardboard boxes to play on. But Finkbiner's new playground is not only gorgeous and safe, it's creative and there's something for every age group to play on and more than just steps, a slide a pole. WAY more. So, kudos to whoever voted to put that in and to everyone who paid for it. Because the joy on my kids' faces and all the other kids around them is worth every penny!!


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