The Coastal Post - December, the six-day event.

News And Notes From Novato

BY BETTY MACHADO

Hello, Dear Hearts

Merry Christmas! This is meant for everyone, especially the loyal readers of this column. I enjoy writing my views and opinions, especially when I receive comments during the time it is out on the stands. Makes it all worthwhile. I sincerely hope your holiday is one of the best.

Novato skateboard park

The "temporary" skateboard park in the downtown area is raising ire among the business section. The Parks and Recreation Commission held a meeting on November 13 at the Margaret Todd Center to "consider and approve proposed skateboard park design change and features." This was the agenda subject. Pam Shinault, Deputy Director, was in charge of the project. So far, everything has been handled by Kevin Conklin. He wasn't there for the meeting.

The skaters have always been very vocal on requesting the park. Not this meeting! In fact, one skater told the Commission he wanted no part of the proposal.

The change in design was not up on the wall for the public to review. An old picture of what was first considered was on the wall. The new design will be set back from Grant Avenue approximately 30 feet to avoid existing tree-root zones along Grant Avenue. The existing soccer field will be relocated within the park and reduced in size so the skate park can share the site and multi-use of the park may continue.

The Recreation Commission did not want to hear from the public. I stopped my presentation to inform John Reuscher that I was sorry be has bored, but I had the right to express my viewpoint. He took exception to my remarks in his comments as a commissioner. Seems the way the seating arrangement is done, he cannot see the other commissioners.

A very interesting letter was in the packet, but not discussed prior to the vote. It was from Gregory McCollum, Property Manager for Hoytt Enterprise, Inc. It was addressed to Kevin Conklin, dated October 1. He was calling attention to a letter dated September 11, in which he had stated, "Regarding the very difficult and depressed conditions experienced since this facility opened..." His letter continued to say, "As you were previously advised, the Department of Motor Vehicles has threatened to relocate because of the nuisances of skateboarders interrupting and causing a risk for drivers taking field driving test examinations. All in all, from the dismal experiences of the skateboard park, we would highly recommend a complete relocation of the facility." This letter was sent to Patricia Narez, Manager of DMV; Patricia Aklund, Mayor; Larry Dito, Director of Parks and Recreation; and Brian Brady, Chief of Police.

Another letter from William McDill of the Novato Physical Therapy Center, dated October 2, showed his concerns for the Goodman building which the City now owns. Neither letter was discused by staff. Instead, Nancy Sangster as a Commissioner, placed a motion before the group, received a second, and with no discussion, it passed. After the meeting, I remarked to Nancy she had better keep her omission and error insurance policy paid up, because she can be sued if her action causes a problem later on. I carried a policy when I served on the school board.

The next move on the skateboard park is a meeting with the Planning Commission scheduled December 8. The City Council will hear it mid-January. All we need is to have Larry Dito call a meeting of private people to see how they can provide a skateboard park at no cost to the City. One private citizen did apply to create a skateboard park on his property and the City charged him $2,000 for permits. Yet the City has not applied for the same permits to build on Marion.

Congratulations to Mayor Carole Dillion-Knutson

She was installed November 18 at the extended City Council meeting. The only problem was the viewers on Channel 23 could not watch the proceedings because of failure of Chambers Cable lines. I did call the manager on Wednesday and he let me know it was an unavoidable incident. I then informed him of how important the meeting was with the new mayor being installed.

Alex Coutts, December 11, On Channel 23, public advocate program

Alex has filed a lawsuit in Oakland Federal Court on the subject of returning Hamilton Field back to the citizens of Marin County. His father was on the Board of Directors of the Marvelous Marin Group who made the deal to sell the produce fields to the federal government with the clause to return them back to the citizens when no longer needed for an air base.

Alex researched this project in Washington, D.C. He came with 11 pounds of documents. As the producer of the Public Advocate program, I have asked him to come and tell the public about his lawsuit. The live program will be on at 9-10 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. You can come on down or call in your questions; the number will be posted on the TV. Let us hear form you-mark your calendar.

Buck berm causing problems for Partridge Knolls

The berm was engineered by Stuber-Stroech. There is a written report from William Cotton to John Griffiths, mediator, stating the berm should be removed. Buck representatives have been meeting with the City of Novato for an urgency permit to begin removal of the 90,000 cubic yards of soil. The dirt will be relocated on the property. A lake did form behind the berm last year and we named it Stroech Lake. Now Deke Stroeh has engineered the berm at Hamilton by the flight line. Citizens are watching for the next Stroeh Lake to appear.

Nancy Sangster and Deke Stroech were the prime movers of the Right Here, Right Now vote of annexing the Buck Center into Novato. Now the county says they are not responsible for the disaster that has taken place at the Buck Center, so the City of Novato will have to take responsibility. But don't forget the whole situation began with the creation of the City-County corridor by the manipulation of former County Supervisor Gary Giacomini and County Counsel Doug Malony. Wouldn't it be great if the citizens of Marin could file a lawsuit against the major players: Giacomini, Maloney, Nancy Sangster and Deke Stroeh? Nancy also had a vote on the elimination of the OB ward in the new hospital. She went down to Marin General for a meeting and told a friend of mine she didn't realize the traffic was so bad. My friend reminded her how lucky she was not to be a pregnant mother trying to reach the birthing center!

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