Vandalism: an action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property.
Recently our little community experienced two acts of vandalism, one to public property and one to private property. The two activities were noted with long comments on social media.
The first incident took place at the Tillicum Park public restrooms. A mother took her child to use the bathroom only to find that at some point over the weekend an individual had used the bathroom floor instead of the toilet. The disgusting discovery sent her to Facebook to question, “Who cleans the restrooms at the park?”
The restrooms at the park are cleaned by an employee of the city. Having worked at City Hall for several years, I know the terrible things that she has to deal with on a weekly basis and she deserves a medal for what she puts up with from the public.
What kind of person uses the floor of the bathroom instead of the toilet? Is it a statement to society? Were they raised by wolves?
Actually I shouldn’t disrespect wolves, even they wouldn’t do that.
It is true that the restrooms go the weekend without being cleaned, but in reality the city would have to place a cleaning person outside the restrooms 24 hours a day to truly keep them clean.
Sadly, if this activity continues, more than likely the city’s decision will be that the restrooms will just be locked and then park goers and visitors will be the ones to suffer.
Even the person that did the terrible deed is doing himself or herself wrong. What is the answer?
The second deliberate and senseless act of vandalism was at the Thomas lot on Main Street. For anyone having driven downtown the past few weeks, you have seen the posts being installed on the vacant lot.
A few weeks ago a few of the posts got knocked over. I wanted to believe it was just an accident. The posts were new, someone didn’t realize they were there?
But the mass plowing of posts done over the weekend (picture front page) left no doubt that this was a deliberate act of vandalism and disrespect for a property owner. Most of those that commented on Facebook also were outraged by the act and many wanted to know what they could do to help repair the damage done. A rally of support was mentioned as well as heartfelt sympathy for Barry Thomas who had worked so hard installing the posts.
By Monday afternoon, a Forks resident stopped by the Forks Forum office and told me three names of individuals responsible for the vandalism. I am not sharing the names but it won’t be long before everyone hears them.
I hope that the Thomas family files a police report and those responsible are held accountable. Most commenting on Facebook wanted to see those responsible for the damage having to replace the posts.
So, why people do people vandalize things?
Just plain stupid? Really there is no excuse!
Sociologists may theorize about the reason people do acts of vandalism and what its effect is on mankind, but in a small town vandalism hurts our neighbors, our friends, our entire community.
In a big city these acts might be anonymous crimes, in a small town more than likely the vandal knows the victim — and why would you do that to someone you know?