by Lisa Tome
Two acts of vandalism in three days have left Cecilton's Town Park damaged and town officials and staff disappointed.
"Each time something like that happens, it costs everybody's time and energy. And it takes police away from real crime," said Cecilton Mayor Joe Zang.
Cecil Sheriff's Deputy DFC Jeremy Strohecker, reported that between November 8-10, someone struck a fence around the baseball fields and damaged the fence and a fence post.
Fields in the park were also damaged during that incident. A second police report was filed within a few days, documenting additional "turfing" of fields at the park. Damage from the incidents is estimated at more than $500.
Cecilton is working with the Cecil Sheriff's Office to change the way patrol is done. Beginning in December, deputies will do foot patrols in the town.
Vandalism in Cecilton isn't new. In January, a paint-wielding graffiti artist vandalized the rear and side of the town maintenance building.
Cecilton's water treatment plant currently has graffiti on it, some as high as 15 feet up, from past vandalism.
Earlier this year, Town of Cecilton maintenance supervisor Jay Paxson said he generally expects some acts of malicious destruction in spring and summer. He said that five or six times per year, vandals strike at the maintenance shop and at the ballfields behind the shop. He said in one instance, he repainted the shed at the ballfields to hide graffiti. By the next day, the new paint had been peeled off.
Mayor Zang said these types of incidents are discouraging.
The town has grown in recent years with the arrival of the Royal Farms and Dollar General stores. Residential development is also booming with the Parklands construction. "I can't understand what someone gets out of this (vandalism). Our park is a serene place and we have more (amenities) coming to the park. It's sad. It's really sad," said Zang.
Town maintenance staffers Arthur Edwards and Josh Rea assessed the damage in the park last Wednesday.
"We try to keep this park looking nice. This kind of irks our nerves," said Edwards. He also said that as someone who works to mow the park, the turfing will have an impact. "It slows down the mowing. We have to mow slow now," he said.