Oct 19 2016

Reports: Park Commission Considered Trees, Lights at Coaches Field, Linda Kingston Triangle

 October 5th Park Commission Meeting – 

During the meeting the main issues or projects which were discussed were the update on the Hampton Park Master Plan, the Linda Kingston Triangle, and the oak tree at Magee Overlook. 

    On October 5th, I attended the City of Piedmont Park Commission meeting. The Park Commission makes recommendations to the City Council about improvements to the parks. The Commission meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, City Hall.

   The Hampton Park Master Plan was the first topic which was brought up by Nancy Kent, who is the staff Liaison to the Park Commission. She explained how the tennis courts have been refinished, and they are not sure when the field will get finished but progress is being made. The Linda Kingston island was another area of interest for the Commission. This project puts a traffic island at the crossroads of Linda and Kingston avenues. On the island will be plants to allow the island to have aesthetic appeal. There was large concern over how long the lights were taking and if the city had consulted with its light consultant. The lights being put in on the island will be custom made and will not glare into the surrounding houses, a large area of concern.

   The issue which affected me the most was the Park Commission consideration of taking out an oak tree near the Magee Overlook due to safety concerns. The head maintenance member Dave Frankel spoke on this issue. He explained how the tree was decaying and how if it was not removed soon it could fall and cause damages.

   The final topic of discussion was about possible Coaches Field renovations. In this case the Park Commission seemed to be against my personal opinion. Among the commission there wasn’t much concern about renovating the field when in reality, it is a necessity. All they talked about was the lighting on the field and if there should be artificial grass or not. I would have liked them to discuss future plans to renovate the field.

    After the meeting I interviewed John Lenahan who is a member of the Park Commission. After asking him questions, I learned that he was a part of the Commission because he thinks Piedmont parks are the best part of the community and wants to keep it that way. I learned that he thought money has always been a problem in the Park Commission and getting things approved. Lenahan explained how the Commission recommends how to improve the city parks to the City Council, where the idea either gets accepted or rejected. If the plan is accepted then money is the issue, the city must figure out how to pay for the project, funding usually comes from ¨a combination of both private and public funding¨. An example of this would be if the city was to rebuild Coaches Field, then the Piedmont Baseball Foundation, a private organization, would help fund the project along with taxpayers money. Interviewing John Lenahan helped me understand what the Park Commission does and why he is so engaged in the community.

 Adam Low, Piedmont High School Senior


I attended the Park Commission meeting of October 5, 2016.  The Commission is involved with all of the parks in Piedmont’s domain. They make sure the parks are well maintained and well funded. For example, there was a tree in Piedmont Park that was dangerously overhanging so the staff cut it down for public safety. Another big part of the Park Commission roll is oversight of all current and future park remodels such as Hampton Field and Linda Kingston Triangle. They stay updated on schedules for the park remodel finishes as well as being properly funded. The Parks Commission meets once every month to talk about these issues and keep the remodeling process on track.

A major issue that they addressed included a $25,000 feasibility plan for a Coaches Field remodel. Other aspects of this issue include lights, and how they will impact the people living around the field, and the different types of material they use for the grass. Other major issues included the remodels that have been previously stated and the Magee Oak Tree that was taken out.

In the meeting everyone was in favor for every measure they proposed. There was one woman, Nancy Kent, the staff liaison, who talked about every single project mentioned. She gave overviews of the Hampton and Linda Park projects, as well as an overview of the Magee Oak tree. Another issue at the meeting was the Coaches Field remodel, and in my opinion it is extremely necessary. The grass is always muddy, there is not a lot of space and it needs lights. I think the city of Piedmont would benefit greatly from a Coach’s Field remodel.

After the meeting, I interviewed a member of the Parks Commission whose name was John Lenahan. He said he wanted to be a part of the commission because the parks of Piedmont are one of our cities best qualities and they need to be preserved and beautified as much as possible. There is also a struggle getting enough funding to maintain the parks as well as having restrictions on water it makes it hard for the trees. In the future, he hopes to get more funding from the city council to keep the parks maintained as well as having city donors who will fund Piedmont’s beautification.

Joey Lalli, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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