Skate park back at CPCSD

By From page A1 | July 22, 2013

The skate park at Christa McAuliffe Park was back on the agenda at Wednesday’s board meeting of the Cameron Park Community Services District.

Resident Bill Carey had requested the item be on the agenda after complaining repeatedly at board meetings about trash, graffiti, drug and alcohol use in the park.

Citing Joe’s Skate Park in Placerville as an example of what could be done differently, he said the Placerville park has rules governing its use and there is someone present to enforce them.

“You can’t let the kids run it by themselves,” Carey said. “These aren’t bad kids (at Christa McAuliffe Park), but they have a certain attitude — that the skate park belongs to them and they don’t care about us.”

Carey went on to recommend limiting the hours the skate park is open and providing supervision.

Board President Greg Stanton said charging a use fee or having a supervisor at the park creates a liability for the district and they had already studied that possibility. While acknowledging the recent tagging incident, he said the complaints they have received don’t indicate there is an intolerable situation at the park.

As one solution to the funding issue, board member Shiva Frentzen suggested taking money saved by board officers not receiving compensation for attending meetings and putting it aside to pay for a building at the park.

Resident David Gelber agreed with Carey, saying having an adult present was the difference in Joe’s Park. He said the liability issue exists whether the park is supervised or not. He suggested the district charge a use fee or make use of some of its reserves to pay for staffing.

Taking a different tack was resident Gerald Lillpop, who took a tough-love approach to the problem. He suggested not maintaining the park and allowing it to get so bad that the kids using it and their parents are forced to clean it. It may be a radical idea, he said, but “if we’re not going to manage it, we need to say to kids ‘it’s your park. You own it. You maintain it.’”

Board member Vicky Neibauer disagreed, saying since the park is a district asset, the board either needed to deal with the issue or close it.

With no consensus on what should be done, Stanton said the item will be discussed again at next month’s board meeting. He reiterated that having a supervisor in the park creates a liability, which is why there is no official supervisor at Joe’s Skate Park.

In other business, General Manager Mary Cahill reported that the Summer Spectacular event was a success despite ticket sales being down from last year. Cahill attributed it to the 108-degree temperature the day of the event. Overall there were 3,632 paid attendees. She added she was very grateful to all their sponsors and said she expects to have a small surplus when the bills are tallied.

All the board members gave the staff kudos for the quality of the event and degree of staff support. However Board member Shiva Frentzen expressed concern that attendance was down more than 50 percent this year and 25 percent last year. She asked if a study was needed to determine if there is a reason for declining attendance.

Suggestions for next year’s event included having misting stations to cool people down and shuttles to ferry people from parking lots to the lake. The event will be discussed in more detail at the August meeting.

The board also approved a resolution affirming the cooperative agreement for fire protection with Cal Fire for $15.1 million covering the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2018. Staffing levels include 16 line personnel, one battalion chief and one battalion chief fire marshal. The contract includes a reimburse amount for JPA ambulance staffing of $4.9 million.

Cahill reported they had received 10 responses to their Request for Proposal for both general counsel and CC&R legal services. Neibauer and McNeil will do the initial reviews of the RFPs to be followed by a panel interview of the top firms.

The board reviewed changes to a policy governing how agendas are prepared and items added to it. Because of additional changes needed, it was forwarded to the budget and administration sub-committee for further work.

The board also voted to put off temporarily suspending its committees in favor of holding two board meetings a month. Initially it had planned to start in August but because of staffing issues, the majority voted to begin doing so in October instead.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter

Dawn Hodson

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