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Original post made
on Jan 31, 2008
I'm appalled that this constitutes public input for such a major expenditure of our taxes. Only gym users and nearby residents? Why not every resident? After all, the money and land that would be used for this gym will not then be available for other things.
I support a new gym but I support proper planning of the entire Burgess campus, not this piecemeal process that caters only to current users and next door neighbors.
Our city is shamefully inept at involving the public at the right time and in the right way.
That struck me as odd as well. I can't remember ever seeing an invitation for public input phrased like that before, limiting the invitees to a small portion of the public. I'd like to hear the city's explanation of such a peculiar strategy. And while we're on the subject, just how much notice has the public been given about this? The Almanac appears on Tuesday, and the meetings are Thursday? Seems like awfully short notice to me.
Goo point about public input except that the cost of construction of the new gym will not come from the general fund but from the rec bond. The most logical place to get public comment would be from the people that use the facility and those neighbors that would be directly impacted by the building. I also doubt that Council would exclude those that don't use the gym or live near it. Geez - find something else to complain about.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the rec bond was approved by all residents who voted. The funds can be used on a variety of projects, so seems to me that decisions about the gym DO indeed affect everyone. The placement of the gym and the funds used for it affect what's left both financially and space-wise.
Before the Measure T bond vote there were myriad public meetings on conceptualizing and soliciting the varied needs for recreation in Menlo Park, including the Gym and Rec Center. The bond is implemented in three rounds of funding. The first round went to the Burgess Pool and sports fields, with a bit for most other parks in MP (there are quite a few) This is all detailed on the city website. This too was done with public input. Now the city is embarking on the second round which includes the gym proper. The gym was considerd during the first round, but postponed for a future round due to the cost. The input is city wide; the neighbor input is not so much to design the damn thing, but a courtesy since the neighborhood absorbs the impact. (Also, the city doesn't want to trigger a CEQA review of their own use permits).
Your comments and input is welcome to the Parks an Recreation Commission, the Council, and to City Manager Glen Rojas.
And ofcourse, I hope the city doesn't give the resulting product rent free to a favored private operator without open bidding.
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