EDITORíS DESK: Flashpoint: Bancroft Park
Last fall, City Councilman Jerry Heimlicher asked for a unique policy for Bancroft Park. After all, it's a unique little park - one of just two in the city (Acacia is the
other) that's situated in the middle of a major shopping district. Also like Acacia, Bancroft is prized by the surrounding merchants as a venue for promotional events. It
has a great bandshell, a historic cabin, a pavilion and a nice mix of concrete, trees and grass. This desirability was what triggered Heimlicher's concern. In recent
years, JEI, a private company not from the Westside, had begun using it for summer-Saturday craft fairs, piggybacking on the popularity of the Farmers' Market on
24th Street. Merchants were worried the crafters were cutting into their sales - not to mention their flexibility to use Bancroft themselves to promote Old Colorado
In the end Heimlicher and the merchants got their wish. The unique rules limited JEI to one Saturday a month. Displeased with that rule, JEI relocated, starting its own Saturday market/craft show this month in Vermijo Park. But did the merchants really win? It's starting to seem as if they simply traded one problem for another. Merchants are now facing opposition to their events. This comes not only from some local residents but from within the merchants' own ranks, and even to a certain extent the city itself. And, not surprisingly, Bancroft Park is once again the flashpoint.
City Parks Director Paul Butcher says he is interested in seeing a comprehensive survey of local opinions about Old Colorado City events, but adds that he would still do whatever he could to meet the needs of even a few dissidents. That's fine to a point, but if meeting those needs - and it already seems to be happening, as frustrated music promoter Charlie Cagiao might attest - occurs at the expense of Old Colorado City promotional goals, then does such a policy truly look out for the general welfare of our area? That's not the kind of uniqueness we need.