San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Department established a committee to investigate alternative methods of funding the activities and responsibilities of the Department. The result of that investigation concluded with a report with which I strongly disagreed. As the only "taxpayer's advocate" on the committee, I submitted the following report on behalf of taxpayer's of San Mateo County

 

 

Minority Report of the Alternative Funding Committee(AFC)
Prepared by John J. Jack" Hickey 9/1/1994

The amount of publicly-owned open-space and park land in San Mateo County constitutes a valuable resource to its citizens and taxpayers. Currently, much of this land is underutilized. With proper stewardship, these lands could be tended in a low risk, self supporting manner, providing recreational and open space needs of residents and visitors. User fees, land leases, land swapping and divestiture of surplus lands are major tools essential to proper stewardship. It is from this perspective that I, John J. Hickey, designee of AFC member Dean McHan, dissent from the majority report and its accompanying recommendation.

 

FINDINGS

Regarding the AFC Report I find as follows:

It can be argued that the deterioration of funding for Parks and Recreation followed the questionable Annexation of South County cities by MROSD.

Taxpayer revulsion to abuses of that act is strong and growing. A better choice would be a Regional Park /Open Space District with the powers granted to this type of agency by the Public Resources Code(PRC), Sec.5541;

"A district may plan, adopt, lay out, plant, develop, and otherwise improve, extend, control, operate, and maintain a system of public parks, playgrounds, golf courses, beaches, trails, natural areas, ecological and open space preserves, parkways, scenic drives, boulevards, and other facilities for public recreation, for the use and enjoyment of all the inhabitants of the district. and it may select, designate, and acquire land, or rights in land, within or without the district, to be used and appropriated for such purposes. It may cause such trails, parkways, scenic drives, and boulevards to be opened, altered, widen, graded or regraded, paved or repaved, planted or replanted, repaired. and otherwise improved, may conduct programs and classes in outdoor science education and conservation education, and may do all other things necessary or convenience to carry out the purposes of this article. "and Sec.5562;

"The board may acquire, construct, improve, maintain, and operate golf courses, bathhouses, boathouses, tennis courts, gymnasiums, and other special amusements and forms of recreation, and it may acquire, Construct, or complete all buildings, structures, waterways, lakes, equipment, and other necessary or convenient facilities it may fix and collect fees the use by the public of any boars, bathing suits, lockers, golf courses, tennis courts, or other special facilities, services, or equipment."

I suggest that one convenient facility is the South Bayside Systems Authority reclaimed water facility in Redwood City. Water from this facility would be used to irrigate golf courses and parks, augment flow in streams, create lakes, etc.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

In submitting the minority report with recommendations I ask the Parks and Recreation Commission to seek the Compromises" mentioned in "Basic Principles and Assumptions" which guided the AFC

Precedent for recommendation re: water

Public Resources Code

Sec.5782.25. Notwithstanding any other provision of low, the Parker Dam Recreation and Park District may:

(a) Purchase or lease electric power from any agency or entity, public or private, for use within the district.
(b) Acquire water and water rights and do any act necessary to furnish a sufficient water supply in the district for any beneficial use.
(c) Sell. dispose of, and distribute Water and electric power for use within the district.

The powers granted to the ParkerDam Recreation and Park District by this section may be exercised by the district only if the authority to exercise such powers is approved by a majority of the votes cast on the proposition at a district election called and conducted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter

John J.Hickey
  243 Ferndale Way
Redwood City, CA 94062
(415) 368-5722 john_hickey98@yahoo.com
Back to Jack Hickey's HomePage