A city maintenance worker deliberately mowed over about two dozen chairs at the Sepulveda Basin Dog Park last week, leaving behind a trail of plastic shards and broken parts according to the Daily News. The lawn chairs, which people brought over the years for public use, were said to be nuisances for city maintenance workers because they had to be moved every time the grass is cut.
According to Councilman Greig Smith, in the city's eyes, the chairs are private property left on public grounds, posing an obstacle to park maintenance.
"I encourage the park users to bring their own chairs, but to take them home with them when they leave," he said.
Dog owners and park supporters, however, were outraged.
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"The park has been in existence for 14 years and we've always done this," Michael S. Hyams, who frequents the Encino park six days a week, told the Daily News. "They've never mowed over all the chairs, and they can't all of a sudden start now."
Though Hyams claims that dog owners have "donated" the chairs, he admits that a verbal or written agreement between the city and its citizens has never been made.
Park and Recreation officials, who have declined to release the gardener's name, are looking into the destruction and have said they will take necessary action if the worker is found to be at fault.
"We're investigating what's going on and we're going to make sure it's not going to happen again," Andrea Epstein, spokeswoman for the Parks and Recreation Department said.