Mary Souza’s Newsletter
I’ve been out of the fray for a while but have been watching and listening as many important issues are coming to the fore in our community. You might be interested in some updated info, so here’s the first of my priority topics, because you will need to know this one for Tuesday night. Then, later this week, I’ll tell you about more of them.
Person Field: When the CdA City Council met with the School Board last month, in the joint public meeting in the Library Community Room that many of you attended or watched on Channel 19, the School District agreed to sell both Person Field and Bryan Playfield to the City for between
$655, 000 – 750,000, depending on the outcome of the legally required appraisal of Bryan. The Mayor and Mike Kennedy eagerly voiced approval, and the rest of the Council appeared to concur.
Well, the appraisal of Bryan came in higher than expected, earlier this month, at $309,000, to make the combined total appraised value of both properties almost $1 million. (Their worth is so high because, for some reason, they were zoned by the City as R-12 many years ago, so a lot of houses or apartments could legally be built on them if the land was sold to developers.)
At their regular meeting on Feb. 4th, the School Board voted to honor their end of the deal by approving the sale of both properties to the City for the agreed-upon maximum of $750,000.
But now the City is balking.
Both Council members Deanna Goodlander and Ron Edinger indicated, at the last City Council meeting, on Feb. 5th, the day after the School Board’s approval, that they might not support the Person-Bryan parks acquisition at that price, even though it was generally approved at the joint meeting in January. And we all know that Woody will go along as he’s told. So is this deal in danger? Possibly. I think some on the Council would rather use all available city money on McEuen because it’s quite a financial mess. Do they think that CdA begins and ends only in the downtown? That regular people in the residential neighborhoods do not deserve to have their longtime parks and playfields preserved?
I do know that to have supporters fill the room at the City Council meeting, THIS TUESDAY NIGHT, 6:00 pm in the Library Community Room downstairs, will make a big difference. Please call your friends to show up for Person Field. Call the Junior Tackle program people. Call the Lakes Middle School parents. Get the neighborhood involved and the rest of the city too. Let’s show Mayor Bloem and Council that we want them to make good on their agreement to buy these two properties and protect them for the use of the regular people in our community. The price is a drop in the bucket compared to the high-end, glitzy make-over of McEuen Field. And the CdA School District will be the recipient of the money, which is like trading dollars for the taxpayers of CdA.
If you’d like to read the Press article about the recent School Board meeting, you can find it here. You’ll hear from me later about the “visioning”, McEuen Park construction bids, a mysterious case of changing signs, curb cuts for cronies and, perhaps, even more.
Have a good start to your week! –Mary