Is The Parks & Recreation Commission Bigoted?
I completely forgot the Costa Mesa Parks & Recreation Commission was meeting today, so immersed myself in what would be a Lakers win. 3 down, 1 to go - Friday in Denver.
AZTEC BASKETBALL PROPOSAL
Anyhow, I remembered the commission was meeting and flipped over to see what was going on just as they were discussing the agenda item that dealt with the staff's recommendation to permit Aztec Basketball, an organized league of primarily Hispanic players from throughout Orange County, to use the Downtown Recreation Center court on Sundays for seven hours each day for a six month period.
ADDITIONAL $40,000 INCOME FOR THE CITY
Apparently Aztec Basketball is being displaced by facilities in Santa Ana that are being renovated, hence their request to use ours. The owners of the league have gone so far as to acquire a Costa Mesa business license. The proposal would generate nearly $40,000 in additional income for the city. It would also displace drop-in players who currently occasionally use the facility - approximately 22 on average per day.
SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA
The proposal by the staff seemed well conceived and made some sense. It certainly made better use of our facility and would generate some additional income to the city in these trying times. According to Jana Ransom, Recreation Director for the city, they come highly recommended by previous landlords.
THE MOUTH TORPEDOES THE PLAN
Then The Mouth From Mesa North stood to address the issue. During his three minutes he conjured up images of marauding ex-convicts storming into town every Sunday and endangering the children who use our park areas adjacent to the Downtown Recreation Facility. He planted that seed of intolerance that he carries on his hip like a loaded gun and it worked!
A SLOW, PAINFUL DEATH
Yep, at the end of the discussion Chairman Kurt Galitski paused and waited for another commissioner to make a motion - none did. So, treading carefully, he moved to approve the contract with Aztec Basketball as proposed and waited.... and waited.... and waited... for his motion to receive a second. He made the motion again and waited... None of his fellow commissioners seconded his motion, so it died a slow, painful death.
I WONDER WHY...?
I'd like to think that the commissioners actually had good reasons for denying this request, but there was no discussion whatsoever on this issue, so we'll never know. It's easy - and maybe accurate - to assume that The Mouth's presentation had an impact on the other four members of the commission - that it pulled off the scab of intolerance and caused the commissioners to show their true colors by their silence.
COMMISSIONERS SILENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES!
I rejoined the Laker game to watch their victory over the Nuggets, but found myself thinking about this decision - or lack of decision. Since none of the commissioners chose to let us know their views on this issue, I guess we're left to our own assumptions. It's another sad day for our city...