Mar 17 2015

Park Commission Meeting of March 4

Report on the Park Commission Meeting of March 4 by High School student Quinn Burnett:

On Wednesday, March 4, the Piedmont Park Commission held a meeting to discuss various issues concerning local parks and gardens. Due to the fact that Arbor Day is on the horizon, a main topic of discussion was over the various public plans for that particular day of celebration.

After the minutes were approved by the Commission, Chair Sue Herrick opened the floor to the public forum. I spoke first about my concept to go back to having fewer 10 minute parking spaces in the Community Center parking lot, as the reduced parking increases traffic on Highland Avenue and takes away spots from students and creates spots that are rarely used. The Commission agreed that the 10 minute spots allowed an easier means for parents to drop off their children at the nearby preschool and did not seem to desire to make the change that I was hoping for. Following my address to the Commission, Arash Parsa and Parker Phillips spoke about the issues of speeding on Scenic Avenue and the trimming of shrubs on Mesa Avenue, respectively.

After the public forum, the President of the Piedmont Garden Club donated three thousand dollars for Arbor Day and specifically for improvements in Dracena Park for the upcoming event that would be held there on Arbor Day. The check was accepted by the Staff Liaison Mark Feldkamp and he and the President of the Garden Club capitalized on a nice photo opportunity.

Following this donation, the head of publicity on the Park Commission, John Lenahan, took some time to talk about his efforts in the monthly newsletter, as well as additional publicity for the Arbor Day event at Dracena Park. Although there did not seem to be too many pressing matters on the agenda on March 4, Commissioner Nancy Kent, reported on a new plan to further water conservation to combat the ensuing California drought, and her outlook was quite positive as Piedmont seemed to be on top of every requirement for the plan.

Before the meeting began, I had the opportunity to speak with one of very few attending audience members, Patty Reed. Reed’s main concern was a plan that began almost a year ago called the Linda Kingston Triangle. The triangle will ideally be located on Linda Avenue, a block from Beach Elementary School and will cost almost $200,000. She told me that this project will be funded by the Piedmont Garden Club, private neighborhood partisans, and publicly by the CIP [Capital Improvement Projects]. Reed also shared with me that there had been an extensive traffic study, which concluded that traffic would be significantly reduced and safety increased, and this aspect resonated well with the Commission, which favored the project heavily in general as well.

Personally, I agreed with the motive of the Linda Kingston Triangle project, to promote safety, and I am glad to see a positive plan gain momentum as I feel that often projects like these are generally stifled by neigh-saying residents, as was the case for the infamous Blair Park project.

Finally, one representative, whose specific position I did not identify, gave a report on the general condition of the parks and streets. His summary was very positive, exuding the impression that, generally, “things are good!” He also mentioned that roughly one hundred trees were pruned this month and that if anyone wanted their street to be swept, all they would have to do is call and the street sweepers would be happy to come.

Summarily, I viewed the Commission as an efficient and positively run government body.  I also acknowledge the great amount of effort and attention to detail it takes to run such an organization successfully.

Quinn Burnett

Editors’ Note:  The opinions expressed are those of the author.

One Response to “Park Commission Meeting of March 4”

  1. Quinn, nice summary of the Park Commission meeting though I think your analogy between the Kingston Triangle and Blair Park is off. Kingston and the recent Ronada traffic improvements were proposed by the neighborhoods and designed with their input. Blair Park was privately designed. And unlike the traffic improvements, the Blair Park design was considered inappropriate for the site by the Planning Commission. Would you have the city proceed with the project in light of that decision?

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