Parks & Recreation Commission Special Meeting
I, along with about 20 of your friends and neighbors, attended the Special Parks and Recreation Commission meeting tonight at City Hall. I spoke with many of the attendees - none of whom can figure out why this "special" meeting was called because there seemed to be nothing on the agenda that could not have waited until their meeting in September.
CIVIC CENTER PARK TO BE NAMED FOR HAMMETT
The commission voted unanimously to recommend to the City Council that Civic Center Park - that large patch of grass and trees between the Police Station and Fairview Road - be re-named for former mayor, councilman and Pearl Harbor attack survivor, Jack Hammett. I can find no fault with this decision. He certainly deserves to have this recognition in perpetuity.
TEWINKLE PARK SPORTS COMPLEX DISCUSSED
When it came time to consider the proposals presented by three respondents to the recent solicitation for qualifications to operate a public/private partnership at the TeWinkle Park Sports Complex the audience was dazzled by their presentations. Each group was experienced and professional. Each gave us, more or less, a good overview of how they planned to run the operation. Some had more detail than others. Two of them proposed a restaurant selling wine and beer at the complex - a fact that didn't sit well with some of the residents who spoke later.
WHY WAS THIS PRESENTED?
We were left wondering, as some of us had been doing before the meeting commenced, just why this presentation was made at all. To us it seemed out of sequence. First, there should have been some kind of community outreach to determine the feelings of the contiguous neighbors - that was not done. Even so, there should have been made available to the audience copies of the proposals by the respondents. We are promised that information will be available on the city web site Thursday. We'll see.
TASK FORCE TO BE FORMED
At the end the commission decided that some kind of a task force or committee, comprised of staff, commissioners and community members, should be formed to more fully flesh-out this issue before moving forward. Public Services Director Peter Naghavi advised the council that the staff will prepare a report for their next meeting that would outline the possible responsibilities of such a committee and a possible structure for it. The commission made it official by voting to direct staff to do exactly that and have it ready for their September 28th meeting.
WILL THIS VIOLATE THE INJUNCTION?
It seemed to me and several others at the meeting, that this is all about dollars. Apparently Mayor Gary Monahan requested at least one of the respondents to present a pitch. Since each of the proposals included complete maintenance of the site, it will certainly cost some city jobs. We're wondering if this violates the terms of the injunction currently being enforced. It seems like it.
TEMIANKA WANTS TO RESTRICT RECREATION
At the very end of the meeting commissioner Ethan Temianka - Jim Righeimer's former campaign manager who also shares a business address with Righeimer - asked that staff bring back the issue of how many members playing in a park constitute a "team" and require a permit. He mentioned that it is currently 10, but wanted to lower it to 5 "or some other number". I wonder what the heck that is all about? It sure sounds like an echo of Costa Mesa's racist laureate when he demanded that marauding soccer players, who he said were creating a dangerous situation at Paularino Park as they kicked a soccer ball around after work, be banned. He succeeded in conning the council at the time into making Paularino Park a "passive park" and having the current rules about 10 or more players requiring a permit. If Temianka wants to forbid six pals from kicking a soccer ball around - or playing a pick-up game of over-the-line - one must wonder what the heck he's doing on the Parks and Recreation Commission.