On May 14, The Washington Post highlighted our efforts to save the Columbia Heights Dog Park. For that article the newspaper spoke to three of the candidates in the Ward 1 Council race. Note that these statements were made before funding was secured in the budget. Here's what they said:
- Current Councilmember Brianne Nadeau:
Nadeau has spent months lobbying for $1.5 million in the council’s 2019 spending bill that would allow the city to buy the land. Should that fail, she said, the mayor might still be able to reallocate money to buy the park if it were for sale.
“My sense is that we don’t need to panic just yet,” Nadeau said. “There’s still other possibilities. But gosh, wouldn’t it be great if we could just get this done?”
- Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Kent C. Boese:
Another council candidate who has visited recently, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Kent C. Boese, said that $1.5 million might be too much. The city, he said, should take stock of its public land and get more input before determining if the park’s location is its best option.
“If we are using public funds for the property, we should have a bigger conversation . . . rather than funneling money toward a predetermined outcome,” he said. “Maybe it is the best site for a dog park. Maybe it isn’t. Either way, how can we know that unless we’re exploring all of our options?”
- Ward 1 Candidate Jamie Sycamore:
Ward 1 candidate Jamie Sycamore, a dog owner, said Nadeau’s proposal falls short of what he believes the community needs: He would propose setting aside $3 million for the park.
“That safety net is to make sure there’s enough money to be invested in everything that needs to get done,” said Sycamore, whose dog, Rory, has visited the park. “If you want to show you’re really invested in the community, invest in the community. Pick up a shovel. Show you care.”
We have not seen any public statements about the park from Sheika Reid, but she has signed our petition to save the park. We also are not aware of any public statements made by Lori E. Parker about the park.