Dogs on the Hill (Cont.)

I have Gail Kelley’s short tenure on the block across from Kingsman Field beat by 15 years or so. She has brought an unspeakable disharmony to our community as she strives to promote her own selfish ends. She was quoted earlier this year in another local publication blaming newly arrived “white people” for the decline of neighborhood and field. It worries me that neighbors I respected for years would buy in to such a reprehensible tactic.

Gail Kelley strives to curry favor with some of the more elderly residents on the block with tales of children being attacked by dogs. Alas, Kelley is far from being friend and protector to them and their families. She refused to sign on to our block’s petition to institute two-hour residential parking, concerned for the trouble it could cause a family member of hers on a hypothetical visit to her home. It was just too bad for those same neighbors who were only too delighted to sign the petition themselves. Out-of-state vehicles were invading our block day and night. Our neighbors frequently sought relief by parking far from their homes, often at night.

More recently, Kelley told me that she had instructed the adjoining charter schools to keep their marching bands off of Kingsman Field. The tooting and banging was just too much to bear, you understand: she works out of her home and concentration is very important. I also overheard her quite a few months ago at a community-police meeting seeking to address noisy youth on the field. In my mind, it’s not just the dogs but any noise that offends Kelley. Indeed, she does not seem to have taken interest in some of the other seemingly nefarious activities within easy view of her observation post. But those activities rarely produce much noise at all. Her ultimate goal is a shroud of total silence.

The incident involving Kathy Jackson was thoroughly discussed in our community. I understood that calls to 911 reported 20 dogs running amok when in reality there were a handful of moms, kids, and dogs. Filing false reports with the police simply cannot be justified at a time when we work as a community to utilize MPD’s stretched resources to protect us all. Who else in our neighborhood at large was unduly endangered that day by this willful misrepresentation?

Finally, there is the field itself. The trees were planted through efforts of the North Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association. Neighbors, including myself, dug the holes, planted the trees, and provided adequate watering during the long, hot summer months. Gail Kelley did not participate. The Department of Parks and Recreation’s stewardship of the facility rivals that of the worst slumlord, but Kelley does not get involved with uncut weeds or vandalized trees or the adjacent construction site’s dubious soccer-league-destroying annexation of 30 feet of the field. Fortunately for her, these things besmirch our community… in silence.

Lincoln Park