In response to two borough members' criticism of the Dimmick Park women's restroom's cleanliness last month, a resident and volunteer spoke out at borough council's Oct. 1 meeting.
Ann Henshaw is the wife of Hellertown Public Works Director Tom Henshaw, but she told council she had decided to address the criticism as both a resident and volunteer at events that are held in the park.
On Sept. 17, Henshaw was told by council members Gail Nolf and Tom Rieger to pay more attention to the state of the restrooms, which are heavily used during youth football games.
Nolf said the floors in the women's restroom have been so dirty that she's heard complaints from park visitors.
She cited "skeletonized bugs" as a concern and asked that the floors be power-washed.
Ann Henshaw said she decided to address the criticism in front of council because she herself has cleaned the restrooms during events such as Saucon Valley Relay for Life.
"The restroom is cleaned and restocked every morning by the public works department," but after that it can be difficult to keep them clean, she said.
Dirt that's tracked in throughout the day mixes with water sprinkled on the floor to become mud, she said.
When employees or volunteers attempt to clean the facilities during an event, a line of restroom-goers typically forms, which makes it difficult to keep them clean at busy times, she claimed.
"Only cleaning up after each person who uses the facility would help guarantee an immaculate restroom for the next user," Ann Henshaw said.
She asked council to keep in mind that the lavatory is both a public facility and a convenience.
"If everyone who used it would be mindful of their messes, it would be fine for those coming in after them," she said.
Among the suggestions she made to council to help ensure the cleanliness of the restrooms in the future were:
- To post signs inside the facilities advising visitors that they are cleaned on weekdays. A phone number for people to call could be listed, in case unsanitary conditions are found.
- Individual wastebaskets could be placed inside the stalls in the women's restroom.
"I believe that productivity and positive results occur...(when people) brainstorm for the purpose of finding the best immediate remedies," Ann Henshaw said.
Nolf was not present during her remarks, arriving at the meeting later on.
She later declined a request for comment.
Rieger declined to comment during the meeting and other council members did not offer any comments.
Rieger later said it wasn't his intention to question Tom Henshaw's loyalty to the borough when he told him at the September council meeting to address the restrooms' cleanliness, after Nolf brought up the subject for discussion and Henshaw questioned whether he could follow through on the directive.