http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/08/31/opportunity-to-consider-new-amenities-for-pleasanton


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - August 31, 2012

Opportunity to consider new amenities for Pleasanton

People move to Pleasanton for a variety of reasons: excellent schools, good housing, abundant shopping and a quality of life that community leaders are determined to make even better. Just as important are the city's 43 municipal parks, 50 miles of hiking and biking trails, sports fields, an award-winning golf course and public services for all age groups. Today, some of those amenities are getting old and need to be upgraded. New sports, such as cricket and rugby, require new fields and staff advisors. For these reasons, Susan Andrade-Wax, the city's director of Parks and Community Services, is preparing a master plan that will assess the city's parks and recreation amenities and suggest changes, improvements and additions.

After all, it's been three years since we last dedicated a major park and sports complex -- the city's $8 million lighted baseball fields in the Bernal Community Park. The fields were to be part of a 50-acre sports complex to be developed in phases on Bernal, along with the remainder of the full 318-acre central park to come later. Except for the nearby Marilyn Murphy Kane Trail, which was built mostly with private funds, and work on the Iron Horse Trail that is now under way, Pleasanton's much the same in terms of park and recreation amenities as it was three years ago.

With the economy improving and municipal tax revenues once again growing, Andrade's master plan has a chance of breathing new life into outdoor places and activities Pleasanton enjoys.

Applications are currently being accepted to serve on the Master Plan Steering Committee. The document is intended to be a significant planning tool to help the city plan for the changing scope of recreational activities. As such it will summarize themes, trends and community priorities, assess available resources, review existing and anticipated demographic conditions and provide strategies for parks, recreation programs and open space needs.

To serve on the steering committee and assist with the master planning process, the City Council is seeking two Parents-At-Large representatives from the community who currently have a child or children attending preschool, elementary school, middle school and/or high school. All applicants must be residents here and willing to attend at least one or two meetings per month for a period of six to nine months. Committee members will have to do background reading and research, work collaboratively, and strive for clear communication, a balanced perspective and inclusion of a wide range of viewpoints.

Interested parties should submit completed applications to the City Clerk's office by 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 13. The City Council will confirm the members of the committee at its Tuesday, Oct. 2, meeting.

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