Mayor John Duran has had enough of the divisive nature of the Protect Plummer Park group. He maintains that people on the East Side have accused the city of treating them like stepchildren and so we are getting a $41 million park and we should be grateful. He implies that enough is enough.
That's what he said in so many words Monday night from his throne at the City Council meeting. We should be happy our city is in the black (from bonds we floated) in a bad economy and that cities like Vallejo are bankrupt.
We can spend $41 million on an East Side park that will be better and have lots of parking after it has been dug up and renovated, despite the vociferous objections of a dedicated and serious group of citizens who use the park, live next to the park and love the park. This is what he said.
As a public commenter, I was almost last in the comment queue. And instead of serenely voicing my opinion on this project as I had intended, I directed my comments to Mr. Duran. It wasn't very pleasant.
I noted that under his name is "mayor," not king, oligarch or plutocrat, and that he is a public servant and has been endowed with the trust of the residents. He had earlier joked that he was a lawyer and that he had no conscience and later informed the audience that the council members were in fact politicians (something that Mr. Heilman took exception to and was right) and they were doing what politicians do.
I pointed out that he used the word first, and I agreed he was a politician and that he had some nerve speaking to the constituency as he had. It's all on video if you want to view the whole meeting. Basically, when it comes to the park issue, the mayor is sick of it all.
I do not regret a single word I said, neither do I feel any differently about Plummer Park. It should be pointed out that Weho had anticipated a grant that would underwrite PP's upgrades. When it fell through, the bond issue was floated.
We do not need the current plan. The park can be upgraded with some work done on it, but certainly not in the sum of $41 million. A compromise can be achieved with dialogue.
I seriously doubt if any council members actually go to Plummer Park, except for photo ops. It's in a downscale part of this clearly divided city of 34,000. But be grateful nonetheless - John Duran says so and he is a politician - so he knows exactly what he is talking about.