My wife and I became intimately familiar with the passion of the housing problem in Moab this week (April 21-27).
We are new to town, living full time in our RV and working here for the season. Since arriving in February, we have taken steps to be involved in the community. We hold passes at the aquatic center. We’ve taken part in cleanups in the area. We do our best to act with respect, contribute to the local economy and give more than we take.
We follow camping guidelines and drive 20 to 30 minutes each day to get to town for work. We would love to be living in or near town as it would save us time, be friendlier on the environment and take up less of the town’s public space, allowing it to be enjoyed by more people. As you know, this is not an affordable or even an available option for people working seasonal, minimum wage jobs in Moab.
Friday morning we arrived at Swanny City Park around 8:30 a.m. Shortly thereafter, we received an aggressive knock on our window. My wife opened the door and was immediately accosted by a Moab code enforcement officer who barked that there was no illegal camping in the park.
My wife calmly explained that we were not camping and that we had just arrived. The officer sarcastically asked if we just showed up each day and parked in the exact same parking spot for the past three days. She confirmed that this was indeed the case.
I interjected and confirmed the hours of the park, assuring the officer that we had never been here during the hours the park was closed. He told us he received a complaint from a neighbor who stated otherwise. I told him I did not appreciate the attitude and suggested he get the story straight before harassing my wife. He told me he was just trying to protect his community.
I can imagine that as a park side resident, it may be annoying to have the same people parking their RVs at the park every day. As a code enforcement officer, I can imagine it is annoying to deal with the same complaints every day. However, we have a right to use the public park every day during public hours and to do so in peace.
Parking is first come, first serve, and when we park there, we arrive early. You don’t dig it? Tough beans. We are happy to be a part of the solution. You can’t have a community without dialogue and you can’t have a dialogue with anger and assumption. How can we help? We’re at your service.