Did you hear the fireworks at the tail end of the last Alpine Community Planning Group’s (ACPG) February 25, 2021 meeting? It was when the majority of our ACPG elected members lashed out and criticized the public for caring enough to write letters in opposition to the proposed County Park located on South Grade adjacent to Wright’s Field Preserve. The ACPG members’ words were arrogant, dismissive and appallingly disrespectful to the people they are supposed to represent.
They claim that, if it weren’t for COVID and the inability to be actually present at meetings, most of the people who wrote letters would never have shown up in these numbers to a meeting. They said it was taking too much of their time to listen to each letter which equates to it was taking too much of their time to listen to each of their constituents. That is very short-sighted of this body of people who were elected to represent their neighbors and constituents. Do you know how inappropriate, impolite and condescending that sounds? That they do not have time for us? That what each individual has to say is not worth it?
How dare they think that they can censor our words! They rallied around Mr. Al Haven’s idea to preview the letters before a meeting started and categorize the ‘yeas’ and the ‘nays’ and that would eliminate the time it takes to hear the letters. That solution is beyond offensive and undemocratic. It indicates how utterly dismissive they are to listening to the very real and valid facts of why this park is unsuitable at this location. The very public they demean are the ones that are doing their job—to actually investigate what is being proposed—instead of “it’s a done deal” attitude that is being taken. Their broad, sweeping disapproval of public opinion only leads one to think something fishy is going on behind closed doors.
Something else smells fishy regarding the Back Country Land Trust’s (BCLT) lack of commitment to condemning this proposed rape of the land. Mr. George Barnett, the trust’s vice president and treasurer, claimed that the trust has not moved forward with an official position regarding the park. I find that very misleading due to the very recent forced resignations of two board members who coincidently were very outspoken of their opposition of the park. I call that silencing the opposition and appears dictatorially threatening. Yolaine Stout’s last week’s Letter to the Editor delves into what may be going on within that organization’s commitment to preserve all of Wright’s Field.
Mr. Barnett criticized that the opposition was organizing and politicizing the park. I cannot follow that thought process. To unite with common goals and to become a force that should not be ignored is our right as citizens. ACPG members all took the oath to uphold both the California and Federal Constitutions. Their hostile remarks border on violating such oaths and, hence, the laws that govern our country.
When did the public become the ACPG’s enemy? Why do they find the opponents to the park such thorns in their sides? Why do they feel the need to throw insulting acronyms, NIMBYS to be exact, at the people who voted for them? Close to 500 people have voiced their opposition on social media. Surely not all live close to the location to be included in this NIMBY category.
I call on the ACPG to explain why this park seems to be so perfect for our community. So far the only excuse they share is that is has taken over 20+ years to get a park and this is the only possible location. Give me details other than years of neglect from the county that justifies this particular park at this particular location? I dare say, they have no other justification.
I call on the ACPG to examine and report in detail all the proposed elements that are to be constructed within the 26 acres and justify that each element is suitable and safe for the location.
I call on the ACPG to examine in detail and report the safety issues of the location. They need to justify the fire hazards, traffic congestion, noise and light pollutions, safe access so no more deaths occur, water consumption and misuse, not to mention the catastrophic repercussions to the environment, both flora and fauna.
I call on the ACPG to justify why the county is unwilling to classify the park as a destination park. By a quick look of the planned map it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out someone is pulling the wool over our trusting eyes. I ask why our local leaders do not feel the need to protect our community’s diminishing resources.
I call of the ACPG to take out their calculators and figure out just how much this park is going to cost each Alpine resident when it is reasonable to expect that the county will not be able to continue to fund the maintenance of the park in the future. Why has the ACPG not gotten a written confirmation from the county that there will never be any parking or park use fees? It is irresponsible not to assure their constituents that no fees will be charged.
Finally, some people should take their heads out of certain locations and truly see that Alpine has a gem right in the heart of our community: Wright’s Field…in its entirety.