Red Phone: Beer should be banned at parks

Red Phone: Low branches need to be cut

We love Christmas Hill Park and spend a lot of quality time
there with my kids. Recently in the Sycamore Grove picnic area, the
tables were strewn with broken beer bottles and litter.
“We love Christmas Hill Park and spend a lot of quality time there with my kids. Recently in the Sycamore Grove picnic area, the tables were strewn with broken beer bottles and litter. The glass had stuck to the picnic tables and one of us cut our hand on the shards. My question is why do we let drinking go on in our city park? Can they at least ban glass bottles? I find broken glass all over that park. It’s such a nice place. The city should do more to protect it.”

Red Phone: Dear Protect Our Parks, Unfortunately many people take our parks for granted and do not take care of them. It only takes a few bad apples to ruin it for people who use the park responsibly.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that the parks remain clean and safe,” said Gilroy Police Sgt. Chad Gallacinao. “The police department will enforce applicable littering and alcohol laws, since alcohol is only allowed in designated portions of the park.”

People could be cited for having alcohol in public if they drink outside of the boundaries that are set up, he said.

Alcohol consumption is prohibited at all city parks except in the designated areas in Christmas Hill Park and Las Animas Park as set up by Gilroy Municipal Code Chapter 18, said Bill Headley, parks and landscape supervisor. And alcoholic beverages are limited to beer and wine at these parks.

The city staff puts in many hours of picking up after people who leave the park a mess or vandalize the facilities.

“Christmas Hill Park is cleaned for litter and checked for vandalism every day of the year,” Headley said. “Additionally, when group picnic areas are reserved, barbecues table tops, benches, garbage cans around the surrounding grounds are cleaned, and reservation signs are posted.”

While the parks are checked frequently, Headley urged people to still use caution because people may have left litter and trash since the area was last cleaned.

But the city is encouraged by the positive signs it sees, Headley said.

“Incidents of broken beverage bottles in parks have actually declined in the past 25 years even though Gilroy’s population has doubled,” he said. “We also find broken glass from pickle and ketchup containers, but most broken glass is from beverage containers. We attribute this decline in broken glass to the California beverage deposit program and respectful park visitors.”

Park visitors can report broken glass to the City Community Services Department Monday through Friday at 846-0460 and after hours to the nonemergency police number at 846-0350.

What happens to election signs?

“Hello, now that the election is over, I was just wondering what happens to all the signs that are still up all over the place. Do the candidates have to remove them?”

Red Phone: Dear Take Them Down, Candidates have 10 days to take down their signs, according to the Gilroy Zoning Ordinance (Sec 37.24). The city usually sends out a notice or makes contact with candidates who fail to take down their signs, said Code Enforcement Officer Scott Barron. If this doesn’t work, they could be cited and face fines as defined in the Zoning Ordinance (Sec. 53) and the Municipal Code (Chapter 6A Art. II), he said.

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