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Racism: An apology to the Martin family

Janet Arbuckle
Grass Valley mayor

The City of Grass Valley is a wonderful place to live, attractive to visit, vibrant and diverse.

Recently a family visiting and enjoying the amenities provided in Condon Park experienced an unacceptable encounter with some of our area youth.

The family’s experience was relayed to the City Council by e-mail. Council members were shocked by the information and responded immediately with calls from the mayor, vice mayor and other council members expressing our concern and apologizing for the incident.

A letter of apology was sent with a refund of fees for the use of the park facilities, the very least the city could do for the family.

Police officers attempted to find the individual(s) who were responsible for the incident, but were unable to locate them.

The bench located in the area was removed. It appears the bench is used as a gathering point for some of our disorderly youth. It is sad the actions of a few will impact the enjoyment of the park for others.

On behalf of the City of Grass Valley, I want to publicly apologize to the Martin family for their negative experience at Condon Park.

The behavior exhibited by some of our youth is inexcusable. I have never witnessed such behavior in the city and trust this was an isolated incident.

This type of behavior is not just about the lack of the presence of a park ranger, police officer or other person of authority, it is about showing basic respect and kindness toward each other.

These are key elements of our community life that each of us is responsible for embracing and demonstrating. It is our obligation to instill such values in our children, to teach and show such values in our interactions and to display them among our peers.

To change the behavior experienced by this family in Condon Park requires each of us to model the attitudes and actions we expect from our youth.

While the actions of these youth were an embarrassment to the City of Grass Valley, they should be a call to action for each of us to evaluate our own thoughts and behaviors and to make it our personal commitment to respect the basic dignity and rights of one another.

We are proud of the many amenities and events hosted by our community. We believe the hospitality and friendliness of the citizens of Grass Valley is enjoyed by the vast majority of our residents and visitors.

The City Council and city employees are committed to making Grass Valley a wonderful place to live, work and visit. The behavior encountered by the Martin family is not the experience we wish for anyone.

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