I was disappointed by the results of my school board campaign however when one door closes another one opens up. My good friend Ceci Iglesias was elected to the Santa Ana City Council, after withstanding withering attacks and she is going to appoint me as her representative on the Board of Santa Ana Parks and Recreation.
As my readers know I have been very frustrated by the conditions of our parks here in Santa Ana. They are not safe for our kids and families any more. Drugged out vagrants have taken over, the park bathrooms are disgusting, the lights often don’t work, etc.
My past experience with the Parks and Recreation Board has been that not much gets done. Well I am going to aim to change that!
I hope to get a lot of input from you, my readers, and I have a few ideas I am hoping to bring to the table:
- We need a second skate park. There is one at Centennial Park. I would like to see a second one on the other side of the city, or in the middle.
- We need panic buttons at all our parks so the police can be summoned quickly.
- We need better lighting – my preference is long-lasting LED lights with solar panels that will keep them running during the day with regular power at night.
- I would like CCTV cameras installed at all our parks so the police can better monitor what is going on and presumably collect video evidence of crimes in progress
- We need to refurbish the park bathrooms. Many of them have toilets with no doors. That is disgusting and an open invitation for molestation to occur.
- I would like to explore opening Santa Ana’s first dog park!
- And I would like to see a logo developed for the Santa Ana Parks and Recreation agency.
I believe we can raise funds to pay for all of this by selling corporate sponsorships at each park and by selling vendor licenses for exclusive park vendors. The dog park, for example, can easily be paid for by partnering with a local animal hospital and/or a pet supply vendor.
Current Santa Ana Parks and Rec Board members include:
- Ofelia Velarde-Garcia, Chairperson
- Cecilia Aguinaga
- Gisela Contreras
- Yenni Diaz
- Felipe Guerrero
- Irma Macias
- and Humberto Sanchez
The Board of Parks and Recreation considers matters referred by the Council, City Manager, or Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency Executive Director such as donation offers, annual recreation and parks budget; initiates studies on recreation and park issues; and solicits cooperation between public and private agencies on recreation and park matters; assumed duties formerly assigned to the Cable Television Advisory Board including annual review of cable franchise; investigates issues and makes recommendations regarding public cable television services.
By the way I also intend to apply for the SAUSD Measure I Bond Oversight Committee. I am disappointed that this tax increase passed but now my hope is to keep an eye on how they spend our money.