By Lawrence Paul Stein
I served on the College Park Master Plan Committee as the representative of the INCF (Inter Neighborhood Forum) (now the INCO Inter Neighborhood Community Organization)) 20 years ago. The College Park Master Plan Committee was a sub committee of the Parks and Recreation Commission. The sub-committee met monthly for a year (2001) at various locations including the ranger station and pool facilities at College Parks and Recreation Commission rejected the plan. The Parks and Recreation Commission then met several times, and came up with a plan that included a Farm Heritage Museum. This plan was rejected by the City Council. Eventually City Council approved a plan that included an aquatic center and ball fields. The ball fields to be built with public funds were going to be managed by a private entity, Big League Dreams. The Big League Dream fields never materialized due to contract disputes, The aquatic center was to be built in Phase V when funds became available. Measure O was then passed, generating over $10,000,000 in new revenue in General Fund New Revenue. The recession hit and Measure O was used to back fill lost revenue as property tax revenue and sales tax revenue dropped significantly. My hopes for an aquatic center drowned.
A Park Master Plan was developed around 2008 – 2010. It was basically a Park Inventory Report, but it contained plans for College Park, Campus Park (acquired a few years previously), and Sports Park. For details of the purchase of Campus Park, ask Garcia Mortuary how they offered more money for the property (to build a cemetery) to the High School District than the City pf Oxnard offered. but was turned down by the High School District. For details of the questionable acquisition of land for Sports Park, including a reported back dated threat at of eminent domain (to avoid capital gain taxes), ask Martin Jones (a private citizen) or Bert Perrelo (President of the INCO at the time now an Oxnard City Council Member). The plans for College Park in the new report was only for Phase I and II. The soccer fields were built, the skate park was built, basketball courts were built, dog parks were built, parking lots were built (the existing pool and ranger station was replaced to make room for the parking lot. No new aquatic center was built nor were the ball fields.
A few years ago the plans for an Aquatic Center at Sports Park was torpedoed when the demands from the Y. M. C. A. seemed to be excessive. The demand for an aquatic center has not diminished.
The taxpayers are paying for Measure A – a community college district bond issue. The bond was floated with the idea an aquatic center was going the be built at Oxnard College which is in walking distance from Channel Islands High (which has no pool) and walking distance from College Park. The language for an aquatic center was not included in the final language of the bond when the bond passed. No aquatic center at Oxnard College was built, The Performing Arts Center at Oxnard College was buit instead.
The new (Oxnard) Parks Master Plan has eliminated the ball fields and aquatic center at College Park. Staff has not followed the direction set by City Council years ago. Staff claims that as a result of a new study, the demand for an aquatic center was not has high as a demand for more soccer fields at College Park. The public was promised by the vote of the City Council to build ball fields and an aquatic center at College Park. The elimination of the ball fields and aquatic center by staff, not city council,is an another example of broken promises by the 4th floor (Administration offices of the City of Oxnard) that has been going on for decades. Nothing has changed. The city is still corrupt. The city found the the funds to build a $22,000,000 fire station (Station 8) at College Park, but cannot seem to find the funds for a $4,000,000 aquatic center after an additional $120,000,000 has been collected in Measure O funds over the last 10+ years. The city manager wonders why this member of general public is angry.
If one were to look at the Fire Department Strategic Plan (2005) Fire Station 8 was to have cost $4,000,000 with 1/2 coming from a developer if his EIR (Environmental Impact Report) for development on Hueneme Road was approved. The EIR from this developer was thrown out by the courts. The EIR was developed by Southland Sod, a financial contributor to a current council member.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
Lawrence Paul Stein was a Candidate for Oxnard City Council 5 times, Candidate for Mayor 2 times, Candidate of Oxnard City Clerk (2012) and Oxnard City Treasurer Candidate(2016). The author is no longer a candidate for any elected position (age and illness).
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Park, don’t talk to me about parks. Every day that I come down the channel island bridge and see fire satiation 8 “in” our public park I become disheartened. The citizens of this city were cheated by the fire department of this city . It’s a long sad story but the local fire union with the help of political powers took our land that was originally deeded to the citizens for “public park uses in perpetuity”. But the fire department personnel laid waste to your park land to satisfy their want of a new station. What land was promised to the kids and youth of our city as park was taken by self serving individuals because they didn’t want to spend the money for a proper location. Good luck To all the kids of south Oxnard that were to get a public pool on that acreage but never will. Within that long story lies the fact that the land that was once your land and your public park now belongs to a single individual residing in Arizona. Disgusting.
Hell your fire department cut down a 80 foot 100 year old redwood tree just to build that station!
The best pool Oxnard has is the Ocean which is free and the City cannot even provide lifeguards to it’s citizens?
And don’t forget the cost that the City paid to have a private consulting firm to come up with the Oxnard Park Master Plan.
Oxnard doesn’t care to provide any entertainment for it’s citizens especially the young people! This is why after 76 years in Oxnard I’m thinking of leaving!!
We weren’t aware that citizens are responsible for providing entertainment, unless you count the city council meetings.