City Park Projects Not a Matter of Favoritism

Dear Editor,
This organization does not respond to 99 percent plus of all the
letters to the editors, editorials or columns that appear on the
editorial page because they are the rightful opinions of the
author.
Dear Editor,

This organization does not respond to 99 percent plus of all the letters to the editors, editorials or columns that appear on the editorial page because they are the rightful opinions of the author.

However, there are a few times when that opinion or the facts that lead to that opinion are so wrong, that one just shakes one’s head in wonder.

This is the case in the Denise Apuzzo column titled “Pssst … Why Parks Didn’t Get Built in the Northwest Quad.”

It is one thing to disagree with the priorities of the City Council and Parks and Recreation Commission, it is quite another to directly accuse them of setting those priorities based on the “worthiness” of an area or worse yet, the people within that area.

This Council and Councils of the past have never, and I repeat never, judged projects or set priorities because certain citizens were more or less worthy.

Even insinuating something like that, is just plain wrong.

The author of the column may believe that the parks in the NW Quad were not built fast enough, and that is fine, but government is all about options and priorities.

The Council must make decisions that serve the total community, not necessarily just one area.

For the record, since the author moved into this community (10 years), the following major work has been accomplished in the Parks Development Fund:

Five neighborhood parks in the NW Quad are complete (Rainbow and Calle Del Rey) or will be complete in the next few months (Los Arroyos, Sunrise, and Carriage Hills).

The DeBell/Uvas Park Preserve and Christmas Hill Ranch Site were built.

Tennis Courts and a Skate Board Facility were added to Las Animas Park.

Phase I of the Sports Complex is under construction and will be completed in the summer of ’06.

DeBell/Uvas Levee Trail system was expanded.

A new gym at Solorsano Middle School was built.

The Youth Center was expanded and renovated.

The Willey Cultural Center was renovated.

Land was purchased on Farrell, Third Street and Thomas and Luchessa for future neighborhood parks and for the Arts Center in the downtown.

The City Council had to make hard decisions in setting these priorities, but one can quickly see they were attempting to balance the improvements for all Gilroyans.

So when the author of the column talks to her children about why a park is not in her neighborhood, instead of saying “we were not worthy” or “we are not poor”, she should say that maybe we don’t have a park across the street, but let’s take a walk on the levee, stop for lunch at the ranch site, go play a little tennis before we skate board, or maybe let’s play a little basketball at the gym.

That’s a little more “the glass is half full” optimism, and I think that teaches the better life lesson.

Jay Baksa, City of Gilroy Administrator

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