March 14, 2016

Newark Skatepark: Archived Updates

(These are archived updates. For the latest, go here.)

What’s the Status

5/6/2016: For those of you that weren’t able to attend April 28th Newark City Council meeting, here‘s the Citywide Park Master Plan Workshops (by RHAA) document that outlines how the workshops will be conducted (Starts on PDF page 217). There is no precise date for the workshops, but city will have a Facebook page and will announce in the Tri-City Voice. Stay tuned!

3/11/2016. Our Kids Plead for a Skatepark in Newark , CA video  is now available, and is going viral. I BIG thank you to RockViewVideo for its pro-bono works; Jordan Richter for his eloquent dialog; and Ryan Duba and all the kids that met us after school to be interviewed and for turning in your waivers. Thank you!

3/8/2016: The Foundation awaits the city’s requirements for submitting feedback for the Park Master Plan. We plan to attend the September 2016 master plan work sessions and to submit our park project during that time. We will notify you if your attendance is required or if a representative is sufficient. From there, we will leave the decisions in the hands of the council. We will be sure to circulate our video to remind the council of comments made by users at previous council meetings.

2/26/2016. In light of the Foundation’s heartbreaking discovery that our park impact fees are extremely low relative to peer cities and that the fees are locked at these very low rates and, unless the city council is unwilling to pursue strong negotiations with housing developers, the potential for growing the pot of money for parks is less than ideal. The Foundation did win 1.5M for the public, but those funds will not be allocated to the park budget. But, there’s still a chance to obtain matching funds, if the city is open to hiring a grant writer.

2/20/2016: As a result of the overwhelming support from the community for a Newark Skatepark, on February 11th the Newark City Council agreed to deliver a a Citywide Park Master Plan, which outlines all the known park projects. We commend them for their unanimous decision! After that plan is available, the Newark City Council intends to solicit feedback from the public on how these projects should be prioritized. These “workshops” will take place in the coming months. The Newark City Council confirmed that there will be additional funds in the amount of six million dollars (6,000,000) in the 2016-2018 budget cycle, not including the 2M in the fund currently. Although a skatepark costs only one million (1,000,000), the city doesn’t intend to spend the entire pot, and rightly so.

What’s Our Strategy

2/20/2016: Because Newark Parks Foundation believes in outdoor recreation for all, we want to minimize any possibility of competing for funds. We also believe in a sustainable source of future revenue for parks and recreation and for our city’s budget overall. Our strategy is to:

  • Grow the pot! We believe the City of Newark can increase its park impact fees and still be competitive. We will make this case in an upcoming City Council Meeting, after a bit of research.
  • Suggest park criteria. We believe that a Newark Skatepark is a worthy investment based on merit alone. We intend to suggest criteria that’s fair and that helps guide the community through difficult choices.
  • Be Positive. Nothing turns off listeners more than comments that aren’t constructive. We will try to stay positive.