Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Cameron skate park reopens

SKATE PARK REOPENS — Dan Downey, 38, of Folsom was at the park the day it closed and found out that it was to reopen through the Joe's Skate Park Facebook page. He staid that he attempted to attend the meetings regarding the park closure but that the meeting times kept changing. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

SKATE PARK RE-OPENS - Dan Downey, 38, of Folsom was at the park the day it closed and found out that it was to re-open through the Joe's Skate Park Facebook page. He stated that he attempted to attend the meetings rearding the park closure but that the meeting times kept changing. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

By
March 31, 2011 | 1 Comment

The gates of Cameron Park’s skate park were reopened Wednesday morning, more than two weeks after they were locked shut over concerns of vandalism and other community disturbances.

The Cameron Park Community Services District Board of Directors, in a unanimous vote, reversed its March 16 decision after hearing local reaction during its Tuesday night meeting’s open forum.

“The people came forward. They do want it open,” said Scott McNeil, the board’s president.

Earlier in march the CSD board voted to temporarily close the skateboard park after the “Skate Park Ad Hoc Committee,” formed last August, voiced its concerns over the park’s perceived adverse effect on the community.

Disturbances said to be associated with the skatepark included drug use and possession, fights, graffiti, public intoxication and possible gang-related activity.

On Wednesday, McNeil told the Mountain Democrat that the locks were officially taken off of the park gates earlier that morning.

“It was a hasty decision (to close the park),” he said.

When news of the board’s decision first broke, the Mountain Democrat Website was inundated with replies from unhappy skaters and their parents, many of whom wondered what alternatives the local youths could turn to.

But Wednesday, McNeil acknowledged the park’s importance to Cameron Park.

“This is a small community for kids with not much to do,” he said. “I believe the right decision was made.”

Although the park has been reopened, McNeil said the CSD board is not ignoring the concerns voiced by the now-defunct “Skate Park Ad Hoc Committee.”

The CSD’s Parks and Recreation Committee, headed by McNeil himself, is charged with tackling the skate park’s problems.

The board president could offer no possible changes being considered, but said planning is in the works.

Still, McNeil said the board is still investigating the true severity of disturbances created by the park.

“I don’t know if it’s as bad as we heard because the other side wasn’t represented (during the ad hoc committee’s presentation),” he said.

McNeil and the CSD board have come under recent criticism not only for closing the park, but also for the decision to not renew the contract of general manager Fred Smith.

That outcry did not stop the board’s president from issuing a mea culpa, though.

“If we didn’t do it right, we need to step up and admit it,” said McNeil.

E-mail Jim Ratajczak at jratajczak@mtdemocrat.net or call 530-344-5069.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

  • BarbaraMarch 31, 2011 - 9:59 pm

    Scott McNeil, you are a liar. Hasty decision my butt. You caved to Paula Springer. You let her tell you could not close this park. The park was never to closed forever. Fred Smith along with the Ad Hoc committee had a plan, you don't. I hope it all flies right back into your face Scott. You are such a hypocrite. You sold the good people who stepped up to make this park a drug free, alcohol free and tobacco free, not to mention bully free, environment. You along with Alan Clarke and past board member, Dave Johnson contrived the entire issue at the CSD special "closed session" meeting held on March 29th. You are a hateful person and I hope you get recalled. You don't care about the park or the kids, you only care about you own hidden agenda.

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