Dear Editor – Planning, Funding and Information

Dear Editor, 

Crystal Alexander’s comment of August 28 illustrates nicely why, absent a radical change in approach, the City Council’s current tunnel vision pursuit of a parks bond, focused on just two parks, could sink both school and parks funding.

First, the City Council “expedited” a request for bids to prepare “a feasibility study for only Bill Botts Fields and Veterans Memorial Park” without showing the request for proposal to the public or asking what the people’s priorities are. In fact, the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services (PRCS) Commission didn’t even see a copy of the request for proposal until it was already out for bid. Sure, the contract will involve outreach, but only regarding the two park-only funding plan that the council “expedited.”

There is indeed a second park planning contract out for bid, meaning that the council intends to spend far more than $300,000 “studying” parks, but that plan is not being expedited, likely because the council has no plans to fund it. As with the last parks master plan, which had no credible funding plan, any plan for other parks, or the neighborhoods with no parks at all, simply won’t be implemented.

That a PRCS Commissioner decided to obfuscate this, rather than alert the public that the council cut out the PRCS Commission from the development of both park study proposals, is yet another example of why ramming through a narrow parks bond in competition with a school bond could doom both measures. These details are all quite alienating to those who just want a nice neighborhood park and good schools without partisan sniping.

The bottom line is that the parks planning has been set on a specific course without much public input or any consideration of the needs of our students. Has the relative priority of parks funding and school funding been a topic of a City Council-CCUSD Liaison Subcommittee meeting? Not at that committee’s one and only meeting this year.

In stark contrast to the council’s rush to fund two parks, the schools have been meticulously preparing a facilities plan for nearly four years. Visit to learn more that work. There’s no need to email me or rely on any supposed authority that I may assert. You can read for yourself.

Alex Fisch

The Actors' Gang