Jan 9 2012

City Council Candidates Discuss Issue 10: $500,000 in Park Bond Funds

The PCA posed a series of 10  questions to candidates for the Piedmont City Council in the upcoming election on February 7.   Following are the candidates’ entire responses to question #10:

The City of Piedmont is eligible for approximately $500,000 in East Bay Regional Park WW bond funds.  How would you like to see this money spent?  (Identify up to 3 projects of priority.)


Margaret Fujioka, City Council Candidate, response:

The WW Park Bond monies should be spent in a way that benefits parts of our community with the most need.  Any decision should be made only after public hearings and the opportunity for all interested parties to weigh in.

Robert McBain, City Council Candidate, response:

Hampton Park the first priority. The park is badly in need of upgrading, especially the tennis courts. There is a Master Plan that has been approved by the Recreation and Park Commissions as well as the City Council. In terms of the process, the City Council could hold hearings to include further public input and make a decision to move forward. It is likely Hampton would qualify as an exempt project that would expedite EIR requirements. In addition, renovating Hampton will support a major recommendation of the MTRC; that is, to maintain our current assets. I will defer on other options; there are many possibilities but I believe Hampton is the most meaningful one.

Tim Rood, City Council Candidate, response:

I would like to see all Piedmonters have an opportunity to weigh in on the use of these funds. According to EBRPD guidelines, Measure WW funds may only be used for capital projects involving acquisition, improvement or long-term renovation of park and recreational facilities; they cannot be used toward repairs or ordinary maintenance of existing facilities (such as replacing artificial turf fields). A televised town hall meeting to provide background information and solicit community input, followed by an online poll with facts about the various options, would be good ways to get community input on priorities.

That said, some possible uses for Measure WW funds do come to mind as a starting point for community discussion. Renovation of the aging locker room facilities at the Piedmont Community Pool to better accommodate the higher usage under City operation would be one possibility.   Improving the space between Linda Beach Field and the Oakland Avenue bridge, which has been discussed as  a potential community garden, is another. A third possibility
would be a pilot project to establish neighborhood green space in excess street right of way. For example, a group of neighbors on Ronada Avenue have already raised funds and donated the landscape design for a mini-park feature that would also act to calm traffic and improve water quality by purifying stormwater runoff. The project was included in the Capital Improvement Program but has not been implemented for lack of City funding.

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