Oakley Parks Could Close With City Council Action on Tuesday

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The City of Oakley, in an effort to save $150,000 in costs, is proposing it cancel its Agreement for Park Facilities between the city and the Oakley Union Elementary School District.

This could result in the closure of 4-parks within the City of Oakley.

The item will be taken up on August 13, 2019 at the City Council meeting. Aside from costs, and confusion of who is responsible for the parks, the city is citing residents who call and use social media to complain about the park safety and condition of the area as reasons to cancel the agreement.

According to the staff report, the current deal was put in place prior to the city incorporating. In 2002 , it was renewed when the City and school district jointly funded various park areas on school district property for residents to use.

The agreement covers parks at Oakley Elementary, Gehringer Elementary, O’Hara Park Middle School and Vintage Parkway Elementary.

According to the Staff Report:

As has been discussed with District officials over the years, the maintenance of these areas has not met the standards and expectations set forth in the Agreement. Furthermore, residents are often confused about who is responsible for the park areas and the City frequently receives calls and social media messages about concerns with the safety and condition of these park areas. We refer these residents to the District, but the complaints are common and the maintenance of the areas has not significantly improved and has even deteriorated.

It also says:

The park areas referred to in the Agreement are arguably no longer needed by the City, are not well maintained, and the funds currently sent to the District can be much better utilized with the park and landscape areas the City must maintain – providing a greater benefit to the community

Currently, the City of Oakley has 35 public parks with 2 more under construction.  The City is also recommending the school district remove any unsafe an damaged playground equipment an utilize the properties as it sees fit.

Oakley Elementary School

If the council votes to approve the cancellation, it could go into effect by February 17, 2020 and the city would then retain its $150,000.

On Friday, Oakley Union Elementary School District Superintendent Greg Hetrick, he was unaware the item was on the agenda and said the city was removing its responsibility of maintaining local parks in certain areas of Oakley.

“They are washing their hands of us and don’t have to do anything. The school district would then maintain something we do not use, which we won’t do. We will take them out,” explained Hetrick.

Hetrick said he had hoped to work out an agreement where the City could lease the property for $1 and then maintain the parks for continued community usage.

“When people say the school district sucks, it’s a park. We don’t have the manpower to man it.  There has been an ongoing issue with the quality of care, if someone takes a hammer and damages a slide, we have to order it,” said Hetrick. “It’s not something that from the school district perspective, that our students use each day, it’s a park, we are focused on spending our funds on education.”

Hetrick pointed out that a few of the parks that could be lost are in areas where residents really have no other parks to utilize such as Vintage Parkway and O’Hara Park Middle School.

If you go:
Oakley City Council Meeting
August 13, 2019 at 6:30 pm
3231 Main Street, Oakley CA

For a copy of the STAFF REPORT, click here. Below are the attached documents associated with the agenda item:

1. Resolution
2. Agreement for Park Facilities signed September 23, 2002
3. Aerial views of the joint-use areas
4. City park map

Here is a look at all the parks that will be impacted:


13 COMMENTS

  1. Great, Oakley’s way to give the middle finger to low income areas. If this city council votes against these park funding, I am so done with this council. Major changes are needed in the city.

  2. Between Main Street (on the east) to Empire Ave and between Laurel back to Main Street (north) (I might be wrong) the only parks for these neighborhoods to play in are the fields adjacent to the schools. There are no small neighborhood parks in the neighborhoods built in the 1970s and 1980’s. The Teakwood/ Chianti neighborhood areas have to cross Empire Ave or go down to O’Hara Park. O’Hara Park is used every evening, someone needs to be responsible for caring for a field that is used by so many. This is very disappointing news.

  3. This is pathetic. Leave it to the Oakley City Council to agree with staff and walk away from a problem versus trying to fix it. City Staff needs to be replaced along with the City Manager. This would hurt the community instead of helping it.

  4. Not sure what I am missing here in this article. Confused as to why people are upset with the city council. The city has been paying the school district to maintain these parks. The school district has not maintained the parks. What are they doing with the $150k if they are not using it to maintain the parks? The superintendent of schools stated (Paraphrasing) “We are not in the business of maintaining parks”. The lease idea is great. How about just deeding the property to the city so they can have full control of the parks in question.

  5. This is par for the course for Oakley. Power trips result in less for residents. Shame on Bryan Montgomery and the City of Oakley from attempting to walk away from this. Get a deal done and improve our parks.

  6. REALLY! You people are complaining about small area of grass attached to school property that does nothing more then attract the criminal element in this community almost every night. You want a park? then build one in your front yard and see how you like have disruptions in the middle of the night. These parks are a waste and add nothing to our community but cause the tax payers money. Good move by the city.

  7. REALLY! You people are complaining about small area of grass attached to school property that does nothing more then attract the criminal element in this community almost every night. You want a park? then build one in your front yard and see how you like have disruptions in the middle of the night. These parks are a waste and add nothing to our community but cause the tax payers money. Good move by the city.

  8. I only have 4 days to go of living here in Oakley. I’m off to Napa where the living is easy and there aren’t all of these tRumpers and redneck ,white
    supremacists driving around in their loud trucks and motorcycles , oblivious on what really matters in life. This city is so mis managed and all they can think about is building more houses with no real sense of community. Bye Oakley.

  9. Community=Neighborhood. These parks are in neighborhoods where people can walk to, bike to, or take a short drive and have a picnic; talk; walk; play; in their own choosing. Doesn’t anyone remember that O’Hara Park was where the first tree lighting took place? How about the Oakley Almond Festival? This park is park of Oakley’s history. Take a close look at Section 11 of the 2002 agreement between the city and the school district and ask yourself “who wants that land?” Before you know it, another gas station. We are fast becoming the bedroom community with lots of storage facilities, gas stations, and houses. And, for the man concerned about crime — when people can’t find one park, they’ll find another. Fight crime, not parks. And, for the man who called us nasty convenient slurs to make himself feel good about leaving Oakley — good luck to your judgemental soul since you’ll surely be packing up your bitterness with the rest of your belongings.

  10. From Main Street on the east to Empire Ave and from Main Street on the north to Laurel Rd O’Hara Park is the only park for any of the Chianti, Orchard Park and Teakwood neighborhood families to go without crossing Empire. Vintage Parkway neighborhood does not have a park beside the land attached to the school. Kids need a place to play. O’hara Park is usually busy with people using the field every night. This would be a big disappointment if these areas were closed to the use of kids play. It would be a shame to see these fields dry up and become an eyesore or even worse (as mentioned above) the land was sold and turned into a gas station, storage facility, or a cigarette shop. I will try to attend the city council meeting on Tuesday.

  11. Oakley…the skid mark of east county. Antioch leaves a turd stripe right down main street. I hope a meteor lands here. What is so great about this place? Exactly, nothing.

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