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Reopen the waterslides, urge residents

Original post made on Jun 15, 2012

Pleasanton residents and officials pushed for the reopening of the waterslides at Shadow Cliffs in a joint meeting held midday Monday with city and East Bay Regional Park District representatives at the Vets Hall.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 15, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (33)

Posted by Save our Slides, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2012 at 11:23 am

Save the Shadow Cliffs Water Slides
East Bay Regional wants to close the slides. It will take a lot of support to save this valued local amenity. This is a treasure that has been enjoyed by generations of our children without ever costing the taxpayers one dollar. You must help if you want to save the slides.
Ways that YOU can Help are posted on this website.
Web Link
Please show your support by posting on this thread also.


Posted by Ca splash, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 15, 2012 at 7:29 pm

The slides have fallen in disrepair because it seems like the operator did not maintain them in a manner which would have been the norm if operating as a commercial business on commercial property.

EBRPD should be in the business of acquiring and maintaining open space, not the commercial water slide business or amusement park business. Whenever commercial operators open something on public land, the taxpayers always end up footing the bill to maintain it or get it out of the red. Why? Because the operators get an extreme discount on what they lease the land for, take all the profits, and don't do maintenance.

No tax dollars or bond measure money should be used to maintain something that should not have been put there in the first place. If Pleasanton starts sending funds over there to do that, people will be very upset.

If Boomers wants to open some water slides, fine. But the water slides need to exit their location on public parkland.


Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm

@CA splash

If you're in poor health and can only get a one year lease extension from EBPRD, where is the incentive to make the monetary investment? I don't hold any ill will toward the previous operator of the water slides. I think he provided a great recreational destination to the children of this area, and did so to the best of his ability.

The local parents need to speak out to save these slides that mean so much to the enjoyment of the youth in our community. I believe that the majority would like to see the water slides repaired and continue in operation -- Now is the time to let your voices be heard.


Posted by Ca splash, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 16, 2012 at 12:20 am

It has been there since the mid-80s and has not been maintained. It is a safety hazard and liability.

It is also against the law for EBRPD to lease property for more than 25 years without a vote of the people. This is the Public Resources Code. Web Link They must hold a special election to extend the lease longer than 25 years.

5540. A district may not validly convey any interest in any real property actually dedicated and used for park or open-space, or both, purposes without the consent of a majority of the voters of the district voting at a special election called by the board and held
for that purpose. Consent need not first be obtained for a lease of any real property for a period not exceeding 25 years; and consent need not first be obtained for a conveyance of any real property if the Legislature, by concurrent resolution, authorizes a conveyance after a resolution of intention has been adopted by at least a two-thirds vote of the board of directors of the district,
specifically describing the property to be conveyed.


Posted by ptown mom, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jun 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm

It would be a shame to see these slides go. They bring such enjoyment to our community and busy teens are not causing trouble! We live in the Shadow Cliffs area and one of the main reasons we purchased our home was so our children would have something close to home to do over the summer.

When we look at our state's financial crisis and how they are trying to close State Parks left and right due to lack of finances how can we even think it would be a good idea to take on another park area at the expense of the taxpayers?


Posted by Ca splash, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm

The article quotes Kierstad as saying they have been there 30 years. That is 5 years too long according to State law. Most of the Shadow Cliffs neighborhood detests those slides.

How could anyone contemplate spending more taxpayer money on this thing, while shutting out the voters?

Close them and restore the park to a natural area.


Posted by SOS, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

To Ca splash,

The slides have not cost EBRPD or taxpayers one dollar in 30 years. This has been a successful public/private venture. The operator maintained the slides for 25 years but EBRPD would not extend the lease or allow them to make improvements when they were on the year to year. Clearly there has been an agenda to eliminate them. Why?
EBRPD has no budget to convert the land to anything useful. Why should the slides be removed so there can be an unproductive pit of mud for the next decade or longer?

The boat rental has been a private concession at Shadow Cliffs for more than 25 years.
Public/private is in the taxpayer best interest because it would cost too much if we had to pay government bureaucracy and pensions. Let the private operator take the profit, if we get an amenity at a break even we are better off than if we pay government to operate it. I would never support any tax money going into this. That is why this is so valuable, it is not necessary.

I have always felt safer with my kids on those slides that are built into the hill, rather than Water World where the slides are on stilts.

Ca splash, your link does not work and why do you need to be divisive? The effort to save the slides is for the kids not "Boomers" and we are all residents.


Posted by SOS, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2012 at 6:45 pm

To Ca splash,

The slides have not cost EBRPD or taxpayers one dollar in 30 years. This has been a successful public/private venture. The operator maintained the slides for 25 years but EBRPD would not extend the lease or allow them to make improvements when they were on the year to year. Clearly there has been an agenda to eliminate them. Why?
EBRPD has no budget to convert the land to anything useful. Why should the slides be removed so there can be an unproductive pit of mud for the next decade or longer?

The boat rental has been a private concession at Shadow Cliffs for more than 25 years.
Public/private is in the taxpayer best interest because it would cost too much if we had to pay government bureaucracy and pensions. Let the private operator take the profit, if we get an amenity at a break even we are better off than if we pay government to operate it. I would never support any tax money going into this. That is why this is so valuable, it is not necessary.

I have always felt safer with my kids on those slides that are built into the hill, rather than Water World where the slides are on stilts.

Ca splash, your link does not work and why do you need to be divisive? The effort to save the slides is for the kids not "Boomers" and we are all residents.


Posted by Ca splash, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm

EBRPD needed to get a vote of the entire EBRPD District voters to have a lease for over 25 years. They didn't do that. That is just as bad as PUSD not getting a vote of the people to increase the tax rates for bond refinancing where they cashed out the balance.

Web Link might work for you. Look at 5540.

EBRPD is not in the land development business nor the Six Flags amusement park business. The water slides are obsolete, do not meet basic OSHA and ADA regulations, and are a liability. They need to go.

The hill can be put back into a natural state or configured into a BMX park. Nature doesn't have to be 'useful.'


Posted by SOS, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Shadow Cliffs is a manmade pit that was converted to be useful, there is no natural state. The slides are not obsolete "the water slides sold 28,000 tickets last season and brought $90,000 per season in concession and parking fees to the Park District."

The operator would bring everything up to requirement if given the lease, there is an ADA exemption for water slides but he wants to rebuild the restrooms to ADA requirements.

Given that EBRPD has many concessions that have exceeded 25 years, I read that as they need a two-thirds vote of the board of directors of the district.
There is no comparison to PUSD stealing 10 million from taxpayers.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 16, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

"put back into a natural state"

What, you mean like trucking in an untold number of metric tons of soil to fill the hole?


Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2012 at 9:32 pm

I believe it's obvious if you've folled this thread that CA Splash is among those in town who think we need a good interpretive center at Shadow Cliff, or that a patch of weeds would be more of a benefit to the community than the water slides. And, his or her position about the role of the EBRPD and park concessionaires pretty much says it all. The introduction of the legalese and links has nothing to do with whether or not the water slides are beneficial to the youth of our area.

Folks, safety of the slides and our children is not what this is all about with CA Splash and a few others. We have a small group locally whose long term narrow vision for Shadow Cliff Park does not include the water slides. Make no mistake, they helped sandbag the previous concessionaire's relationship with the EBRPD, and pressured them to remove the slides.

EBRPD, please find a way to get the slides repaired and get them reopened as soon as possible!!


Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm

"followed" not "folled"


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 16, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Exactly who is going to foot the bill for rushes of blood-nosed and scraped kneed children to public hospitals because of unsafe conditions? Whose tax money is going to be used in the future when injuries at the water slides increase? How many water slides have to break down and sit in disrepair, waiting for tax payer money to fund replacement parts? Do our politicians know about this? I'd like to get a response from them. We shall all have to endure a tidal wave of unfunded liabilities in the form of slides and nosebleeds unless we get our politicians to put a stop to this. This is all unsustainable, and our elected officials need to step up to the plate and take responsibility.


Posted by Ca splash, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 16, 2012 at 10:27 pm

The Pleasanton City Council formally opposed the water slides with a formal opposition to it in 1980 along with the Livermore City Council. If you want to take a look, find Resolution 80157 at the city website at www.ci.pleasanton.ca.us/publicrecords .

Residents were opposed to the water slides then as they are now. Pleasanton residents' outrage of Tom Pico's support of the California Splash water park right before the primary election for Assembly 2004 basically cost him the primary.

Taxpayers have already had to pay for the removal of the one-tenth built California Splash building that was put up and never finished. Who do you think foot the bill for the city meetings held to talk about how it was attracting vagrants and people using drugs? And who do you think foot the bill for tearing it down and hauling it away? Us, the taxpayers.

No trucks need to be used to fill the hole because when the water slides go away because the water slides are on a hill. On the other hand, taxpayers WILL have to pay the $6 million to repair and bring the water slides up to code if they remain. Glenn K. won't do it, of course, because he wants the taxpayers to pay for all of his deferred maintenance.

And any Pleasanton elected official or someone wanting to become an elected official who wants $6 million in tax dollars to go to water slide retrofits in this down economy will be voted out of office.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 17, 2012 at 12:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Wow, 1980. What was 1980's opposition to the slides? I had to look that one up. As I did, I thought about how 1980 is a long time ago and how much Pleasanton has changed. I thought about how back then there was no Valley Ave. connection to Stanley Blvd., how traffic (including the gravel trucks) went through downtown instead. So imagine my chuckle when I finally found Resolution 80157 on the City's website and read Section 1.

"opposes such a development unless significant street improvements are constructed to avoid the addition of water slide traffic to Pleasanton's already congested Central Business District. Improvements that would avoid the addition of such traffic include the acquisition and construction of a public road between Stanley Blvd. and I-580 to the east of Pleasanton OR the completion of the Valley Avenue link between Stanley Blvd. and Santa Rita Road."


Posted by Ca splash, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 17, 2012 at 12:17 am

Back then, as in 2004 Web Link and Web Link hundreds of residents were and continue to be opposed to a theme park or anything resembling a theme park being located far from the freeway, having people travel up Sunol Blvd/First Street after exiting I-680 or down Valley Avenue after exiting the I-580 Santa Rita exist. Between 75% and 80% of the emails to the city were in opposition in 2004.

These same residents successfully opposed the Home Depot big box shopping center that was supposed to be located next to Shadow Cliffs Park at the corner of Bernal and Valley.

And regarding the 1980s opposition, the reference to the public road between Stanley Blvd and I-580 to the east of Pleasanton STILL has not yet been built yet. It is called El Charro Road.


Posted by Ca splash, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 17, 2012 at 12:22 am

Web Link of the issues discussed here are all relevant.


Posted by Mom of 4, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jun 17, 2012 at 7:00 am

There is nothing relevant about that fear mongering. The expansion has been off the table for years. In 30 years there has not been one taxpayer dollar spent on the Shadow Cliff slides. The slides have not created a traffic burden.
The proposed renovation will not be at the expense of taxpayers. The operations of the slides will not and never has been at the expense of taxpayers.
My son broke his arm at the Pleasanton Sports Park. We do not close parks because of skinned knees, bloody noses or other inherent dangers.
The Shadow Cliff slides do not have the pretty bells an whistles of the big parks but I always felt safe with the slides built into the hill rather than on stilts.
My kids rode their bikes to Shadow Cliffs to enjoy many days of safe inexpensive fun every summer. I would like to see them open for todays and future generations of kids.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

I have raised a number of reasonable questions yet no one has bothered to answer them. Nor has any politician shown the courage to step forward and address my concerns. I raise the questions again in hopes that we can use this state boondoggle as an instructive lessons on how to avoid floods and all other manner of things tsunamic. In brief, let me stress that water slides will be passe after the deluge breaks over us. Who is going to pay for the bloody noses? Who is going to pay for the ambulances that arrive on our already crowded streets? By what manner of finance will we pay for the emergency room personnel who await poised to work upon the scaped knees and stubbed toes? And most of all: Why don't our politicians have the courage to respond to the catastrophic innundation of public debt that awaits us? The end is near. You've all been forewarned.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 17, 2012 at 9:24 am

Stacey is a registered user.

CA Splash,

The 1980 resolution said Valley *OR* El Charro. So what that El Charro doesn't go through yet? The concern in 1980 was additional traffic through downtown that Valley has mitigated since then. The concern in 2004 was additional noise and traffic from an expansion. The concern in 2012 is just keeping the existing four slides operating. The past opposition in 1980 and 2004 is certainly irrelevant.

It just seems like you're trying to throw out a variety of disparate reasons to oppose all waterslide operations at Shadow Cliffs for lack of a good reason to support an alternative use of the land. What is your proposed alternative and why should people choose it over the slides?


Posted by Mom of 4, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

Not reasonable questions, fear mongering!
The proposed renovation will not be at the expense of taxpayers. The operations of the slides will not and never has been at the expense of taxpayers.
My son broke his arm at the Pleasanton Sports Park. We do not close parks because of skinned knees, bloody noses or other inherent dangers.
I see no reasonable questions unanswered.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

Add broken arms to the scraped knees and bloody noses. How long can this continue? Given the deplorable state of our budget and the Constitutionally needed provision to balance all budgets at every federal, state, and local level, we have no choice but to close down all superfluous tax bleeding operations, including all local parks. This is reality. We cannot afford to keep them open. Nor will we be able to afford it unless we can get a firm grip on teachers' salaries and pensions. The very last thing this city needs is careening ambulances, with sirens blaring, clogging up city streets and menacing summer readers. The alternative is catastrophe for all of us. Shut down the slides. Close the parks. Cut teacher pensions so that the rest of us have some money to spend on ourselves after the feds and state gouge us. I do NOT enjoy having to put most of my hard-earned money into ark building. But this is what I must do unless politicians face up to the mighty questions I've raised. Get ready for the flood!


Posted by Mom and apple pie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2012 at 11:25 am

Oh, I was slow... Arnold is a union Troll.


Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Mittens, aka Arnold --

Give it a rest...


Posted by to arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm

I'm sure the insurance policy that the operators surely must carry would cover any damages claimed against the park.

Can you answer my question...
what expense is there to a scrape knee or bloody nose?
I can tell you... NONE... my son has had lots of both of those. No expense, no harm done.
Go back to your old folks home and tell them to take away your internet access if they can't give you your medicine. You're rather annoying.


Posted by Ca splash, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 18, 2012 at 1:12 am

From someone to believe that a $10.5 million theme water park could be built for a mere $135,000 in Labor costs is fairly far fetched ridiculous as is shown on p. 44. Web Link . No wonder the investors pulled out, if there were ever any true investors signed up.

In comparison, it cost $500,000 to build an outdoor potty in Delucci Park and almost $2 million to fix the drainage for Kottinger Creek.

Many have thought that California Splash has clearly been all along is a scheme to get government buy in, then run out of money halfway during the process to require a government bailout. Because Pleasanton is so well known for its use of Certificates of Participation (non voter approved debt) for cost overruns in construction projects, such as the golf course in Happy valley, the school district projects, etc., naturally anyone would know this is the 'go to' city to get a government hand out.

Why else would the San Jose Sharks want to come to Pleasanton? It is a perfect place for tax dollars to be forked over to commercial businesses from willing elected officials.

EBRPD's cost estimates for maintaining the existing slides for $6 Million are probably quite accurate and much more reasonable that GK's lowball estimate of $200,000.

Massive maintenance projects are always at voter expense. Why else do school districts put out bond measures to 'fix leaky roofs' and such? The bottom line is that public entities unless they are well managed never ever maintain and modernize structures that they've built without asking for a bond bailout from voters. Or a COP from a sit of elected officials.




Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2012 at 5:53 am

If you read the above from CA Splash carefully, you will realize that this is not about waterslides and the enjoyment they provide to our children, but a position piece from an ideology driven individual.

And, I find the criticism of the previous concessionaire to be distasteful and mean spirited.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jun 18, 2012 at 8:52 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Arroyo,

Indeed, the talk of taxpayer bailouts of the waterslides is not only premature, but calculated.


Posted by Ca splash, a resident of Danbury Park
on Jun 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

This news story (I assume you would also call this one mean spirited although it doesn't even mention the tax court case) Web Link said that the operator was seeking loans that they apparently were never able to receive.

How much does Heritage Investments make a year?


Posted by Mom of 4, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 18, 2012 at 10:16 am

Ca splash,
The expansion of the slides is off the table for a number of economic reasons. Join this discussion, which is retaining a local amenity that has been enjoyed by generations of Pleasanton kids without costing the taxpayers a dime.
I doubt anyone would support any public funds be spent on this amenity. I want EBRPD to continue to allow the public/private venture. If the private investors do not step forward to renovate this modest project then it will go away. If Kiersted can make it happen at the existing size it is a further win/win.


Posted by Norm, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Jun 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I spoke for the waterslide in 1980 then again in 2004 when they wanted to improve them. The same old foggies that didn't want the slides in 1980 were there again in 2004. I remember one old foggy that claimed the slide would cause too much noise from laughing children. Another old time Pleasanton resident claimed it would bring in the wrong type of people. The fact is the Slides have been good for Pleasanton. Young teens have been able to find their first job there. Had EBRPD given a new long term lease instead of those 1 year leases then Kierstad might have been able to get the loans he needed to expand the slides as planned, and do the needed upgrades.


Posted by Mom of 2, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jul 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

It seems that a few people have opposed this for years. As for ambulances etc, the money spent on them would be the responsibility of the individual, as anyone who has ever had to go to the hospital etc know.

@ Ca Splash, would you like to come talk to my 10 year old son with all your web links and explain to him why when we drove by it yesterday he asked when we could go again because he loves it?

Pleasanton is a FAMILY oriented community and the water slides are a family/kid oriented activity. People who don't like that about Pleasanton, frankly shouldn't live here. People who don't like the "element" it brings should be trying to close down the Fairgrounds then, not the water slides. And, take away the teachers salaries and pensions? Really? The school district is what brings many of the businesses and people to this town, and the high schools are some of the best public schools in the country. I grew up in Walnut Creek and moved here to raise my kids for the community and the schools. It shocks me how some people who live in Pleasanton don't appreciate this town for what it is.


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