Some people are having little bit too much fun at the Gateway Fun Park.

A collection of empty beverage cans were found in nearby bushes, and the basketball court is beginning to show signs of excessive wear and tear.

But that’s not the biggest problem according to Supervisor Rod Senior.

During the June 18, 2015 meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services Community Development District, Senior turned the room’s attention to photos that had been taken by district staff that showed the discarded cans and the problems with the basketball court.

“We are seeing lots of empty aluminum cans in the bushes. I can’t believe that Gateway residents are responsible for that. I’m just guessing that, okay? So my question then gets to perhaps an assumption or presumption I shouldn’t be making but I’m gonna say it anyway. How many people are using the Fun Park who are not from Gateway?” questioned Senior.

Hmm. What are you getting at, Rod?

Senior continued by reading from a GSCDD staff report, which said: “The basketball court is cracking throughout the court. And the painted surface has started to chip.”

“Now these two, in my opinion and it’s only my opinion and I haven’t gotten the facts yet but I believe they may be related to the same thing,” said Senior, adding, “I believe we’ve got a lot of outsiders using that basketball court and I think we should question why we have the basketball court.”

This is just the opinion of the Gateway Sun, and it’s only our opinion and we haven’t gotten the facts yet … but we believe we have the basketball court so people can play basketball.

Said Senior: “Whether we should have something different, if it’s gonna give rise to things we don’t want happening in our community like aluminum cans. If our community wants a basketball court that’s fine, but I’m not certain we do.”

In our analysis, what Senior is saying is that he thinks kids and young adults from Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers are coming in to Gateway, leaving behind a mess and breaking our basketball court. Senior doesn’t believe it’s likely that it’s Gateway residents doing it, and while he didn’t name people from any specific communities it’s clear he meant it was people from neighboring towns.

Not everyone agree’s with Senior’s take.

Vice-Chairman Margaret Fineberg noted that she walks up and down the main street in Stoneybrook every single day for exercise, and she is able to fill two small bags of trash along the walk way. Fineberg said she knows it has to be Stoneybrook residents who are responsible for the majority of the trash she picks up.

Supervisor Pam Gill also questioned Senior’s logic, saying “Unless you walk up to someone and ask for identification and they show you something that proves that they do not live in Gateway …”

But Senior stayed the course and said that based on the information he has, he’s highly confident that they’re outsiders who are causing the issues at the Fun Park. And he thinks we should close down the basketball courts as a result.

We commend Senior for sticking to his guns on two issues.

First, he didn’t back down when people questioned him about how he could think it wasn’t Gateway residents causing the issues. Second, he’s shown that he’s consistent when it comes to athletics-based amenities in the community – specifically that he wants to shut down the soccer fields and now the basketball courts.

On the first point, who knows? It probably is kids from Gateway, who very well might have buddies from Fort Myers and Lehigh, and they all get together and do the dumb stuff kids do. We can’t be sure.

As to the second point, though, we are sure. We completely disagree with Senior and we’re not alone. None of the other Supervisors are showing any signs of wanting to shut down our community’s sporting amenities, so there’s really nothing for residents to worry about.

While we disagree with Senior about the basketball court, we can all agree that if people are going to hang out at the Fun Park and enjoy some beverages it’d be nice if they would clean up after themselves instead of throwing their trash in the bushes.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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