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Alameda County, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Frank Pirrone

Candidate for
Director; East Bay Regional Park District; Ward 5

This information is provided by the candidate

The acquisition of land, together with the improvements needed to make that land accessible and safe for public use is one of the most difficult challenges currently facing our regional parks. After a parcel is purchased, that land is put into "land bank" until such time it is ready to open as either a new park or as an extension of an existing park. Currently there are approximately 15,000 acres of land held in the districts land bank. While it is important to buy land as it becomes available, it is imperative that the parcels chosen for purchase best reflect the needs of the overall park system. It is also important to strike a balance between what is purchased and what is available for public access. I would strive to open new parks while insuring that the district has adequate funds to purchase desired parcels as they become available. Once a developer purchases a parcel of land, it is gone forever and if this process is left unchecked, our available open space will vanish in the blink of an eye.

Providing the funds needed to insure proper park maintenance is another difficult challenge faced by the Board of Directors. Currently there are several parks in our district that have areas that could be considered poorly maintained or dangerous. Some trails have been washed out or have been eroded to the point of collapse and have been allowed to remain that way for years with little or no attention. In other areas, Poison Oak is allowed to grow extensively and directly adjacent to trails, providing for a difficult if not unpleasant passage. Having had first hand experience in these areas, I will insure that these problems are addressed and resolved. I would also insure that funds are distributed equally between the northern and southern districts of the park.

Opening new parks from land parcels currently held in the land bank is yet again another challenge. Many say that the East Bay Regional Parks have overextended its ability to properly maintain the parks it already has open, and as additional parks come on line, further pressure is added to an already stressed program. While it is enjoyable to see new parks open, care must be taken to insure that the proper level of maintenance and preservation is upheld. I would strive to ensure a good balance what is opened and how well it can be maintained.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 9, 2006 13:17
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