Mayor Gloria, Councilmember Elo-Rivera, let’s get Clay Park Improvements done right now.

Note: I sent the following message to my compatriots in the Clay Park Subcommittee of the Colina Del Sol Recreation Council. But this message needs to be shared broadly and directly with the decision-makers. For the sake of the community we can no longer be patient. We need to get this project done. Contact me at mclanea@gmail.com and let’s finish it.

Good morning, 

First off, my apologies for needing to leave early last night. I had another concurrent meeting from 6-8 PM last night in Rolando, I needed to catch the end of that. 

Thank you for letting me share last night. I know I may have come across strong but I want to assure you that our community cannot and will not wait any longer. 

Clay Park is a well loved, underfunded, over-utilized neighborhood park. I know that within the purview of the rec council and the greater parks & rec department Clay Park is just a little unimportant patch of grass in the far east of the city. But for tens of thousands of residents who live in Rolando, particularly the children who live in apartments on Rolando’s west side, Clay Park is their only green space. For children and individuals living in those apartments Clay Park is the only accessible place they have to play or to be outdoors. Many of those kids have never been to Balboa Park or the beach because their families don’t have cars. What they have is Clay Park. Even Colina Park, while it might be in their area on a map and their assigned rec center, is too far to walk, for them it might as well not exist. Clay Park is what they have and we have a responsibility to make sure that Clay Park is safe & accessible to all who want to use it.

We have funds available today to improve their park but we do not have the will to do it. 

I will not and cannot apologize for being fired up about that. 

The original Centerpointe Settlement, which generated the $150,000 in the first place, was signed in May 2013. These improvements could have been completed in 2014 if not for city staff saying we needed to do a GDP amendment, which took 3 years of a volunteer driving the initiative through a strung out public hearing process, and has been completed since 2017. Those $150,000 in improvements, which the City of San Diego agreed to do in a legal document with Centerpointe, have still not been completed. 8 and a half years! That’s unacceptable. 

So when I hear, yet again, that something is in the way of completing that project… Quite frankly, I’m outraged. Every resident of Rolando should be offended and outraged by being told once again to be patient. 

There is no need to hire consultants or redo a 4 year old GDP.

Complete the working within the existing GDP. Let’s do it now. 

The City of San Diego committed to Clay Park users and Centerpointe in 2013 that they would use those funds for “Clay Park Improvements” necessitated by the property development across the street. This money isn’t for farts and giggles or to be spent when they got around to it… but it was a settlement agreement to prevent further litigation between residents of Rolando, who were never properly informed that a 900 unit condo building had been quietly converted to a 1600 resident student housing apartment building, and the developer. Those improvements brokered by the city attorney and then city councilmember Marti Emerald were a peace offering to the community, a peace offering that the city has now sat on for over 8 years. (Not to mention, the mayor’s office and the councilmembers office promised the same residents that the roads ruined by the construction of BLVD63 would be repaired immediately following it’s opening. Those road improvements have also not been done.) 

So we are done being patient. We are done with excuses. We want this project complete. I want to escalate this process to whomever are the decision makers. If that means I sit down with the mayor because literally no one under his leadership is willing to make a decision to move forward, then let’s do that. I will make myself available but I will not accept more delay. 

We want to see action. The children of this community deserve action. Long-time and brand new residents of Rolando deserve action. The litigants deserve action. Moreover, the city has a responsibility to take action and we, the residents, are here to make sure action is taken. 

What can I do today to move this project forward? Who do I have to call? 

Again, thank you for your time. Adam

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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