On Wednesday, the Oakley Union Elementary School District will discuss their Park Facilities during their school board meeting. They will also take up appointing two members to join the Oakley City council on a committee to discuss the Park Facilities future.
The District placed the item on the agenda after Oakley City Staff recommended the City cancel its agreement with the school district which prompted Superintendent Greg Hetrick to state the move could result in the closure of four parks at at Oakley Elementary, Gehringer Elementary, O’Hara Park Middle School and Vintage Parkway Elementary.
The recommendation by city staff prompted backlash from residents opposing the idea.
The City of Oakley says the contract, which has been in place since 2002 and expires in 2025, costs the city $150,000 per year and causes confusion on who maintains the properties and doesn’t like the complaints it receives. They also say park safety is a concern as reasons to cancel the agreement. The city also posted more than 30 photographs of the park in disrepair aimed to state their case to the public.
According to the City of Oakley 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.
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
During the August 13 meeting, Councilman Kevin Romick proposed no change to the agreement which had been in place since 2002 and urged the council to table the item. Councilman Randy Pope requested a committee be created to work on a solution. The council agreed in a 5-0 vote without taking any public comments.
On Wednesday night, the school board will open the meeting with the Parks agreement discussion and appoint two representatives to work on the agreement.
If You Go:
Oakley Union Elementary School District
August 21 at 6:00 pm
Library at O’Hara Park Middle School
1100 O’Hara Ave, City of Oakley
Agenda: click here