Los Angeles County, CA
April 9, 2002 Election
Parks in Perpetuity is a Priority
By Ray Grabinski
Mayor; City of Long Beach
This information is provided by the candidate
We need to make a commitment to maintaining Long Beach's park land.
Several years ago, I was visiting a city down the coast. There was a small city park there with spectacular views overlooking the ocean. The park had a tot lot, some benches and green space with shade trees. I noticed a monument sign that said the space had been dedicated by the citizens of that city to be used "as a park in perpetuity."
Now it's time to make that same commitment to our Long Beach park space. What I've proposed to the City Council is that we dedicate our existing parkland "in perpetuity" so that we don't give up that land for the future development of other, more intense uses.
Our parks are critical to the well-being this city. Whether it's a Little League field, a Nature Center or green, open space, Long Beach parks have an importance that we cannot afford to overestimate.
In the past, there were valiant attempts by groups such as Save Our Park to put a parkland preservation initiative on the ballot. That initiative arose after residents became aware of a trend at City Hall to take park space for development. Those developments included a private enterprise Sports Complex, a 911 center, a daycare facility and a police substation.
I want to end that trend. A Parks In Perpetuity program wouldn't mean that a park could never be used for any future development. Rather it would mean that any plans to take park space would first have to get the approval of the public. As Mayor, I'd make parks a priority because they're critical to the development of our youth. They give us space to breathe and play. They help us escape from the hardscape of our urban centers. Like the residents of that small beach town to the south, I believe Long Beach parks serve us well and we, in turn, should commit ourselves to preserving them. I ask your support in my bid for Mayor on April 9 so that the preservation of our dwindling parklands can be given top priority.
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