Posts Tagged ‘City Council’

A Soggy Day in May

A hearty round of applause and a big thanks to all the volunteers who braved the drizzle and rain to put on our ninth

Heart of the Park Celebration!

 

Thanks to the morning set up crew of:  Robert Braunstein, Theresa Wellman, Dennis Abad, Rich Grialou, Kent Wilson, Chris Chen, Tami Demayo, Paul Dornell, Michelle, Dan and Grace Judd, Brandon Koehne, Sunny Wagstaff, Rosy Bowring, Stacey and Mike Winters, Patrick Pizzo, Kelly Shepherd, and Wayne and Linda Opp.

They set up the 21 canopies while waiting in the rain for the delivery of 21 tables and 130 chairs.

Linda Opp, District 10 Councilmember Johnny Khamis, Jean LaMarca, and Tami Demayo

Thank you to Linda Opp, Jean LaMarca, and Tami Demayo, who signed in new memberships at the Membership Booth.

The MFPA raffle items collected by our board members were labeled, arranged and readied for the raffle by Michelle Judd, Christine Noordam, Praneetha Vukkadala, Kathy Mulholland, Pat Burrow, and Rosy Bowing, with Kari Wilson once again announcing the winning draws.

The ever-popular “Strut Your Mutt” dogs paraded in the rain with a small but enthusiastic crowd, under the management of Stacey Winters, Dick and Joy Stevens, and the help of Sophia Snyder and Vince Piazzisi registering the playful pups.  Councilmember Khamis let the judging team and prizes were awarded the winners.

 

Kathy Krenn and her daughter Hannah, braved the rain to take care of the refreshment booth, while free ice cream was given away at SJPD’s Operation Frozen Treats Patrol ice cream truck during the afternoon.

Starting the day off, for the second year in a row, Lisa Myers of Los Gatos Bird Watchers, led another successful birding tour of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park with 15 intrepid bird watchers. 

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Our photographer for the event was Wayne Opp, who captured the activities on film and preserved the rainy memories!  Also providing photos were Johnny Khamis and Dave Poeschel.

District 10 Park Heroes

From left to right are Dave Poeschel, District 10 Councilmember Johnny Khamis, Patrick Pizzo, and Lee Pauser

On Feb. 8th 2018, Dave, Patrick, and Lee were awarded the status of “Park Heroes” at the State of the City address.  An award that was surely well deserved.  Congratulations, guys; for all you do for our parks.  When you see these guys, make sure to give them a pat on the back and say “Thank You” for all their hard work.

Dave hard at work

Pat Pizzo

Lee Pauser with one of his many bird friends

55 trees planted in Jeffrey Fontana & TJ Martin parks

On December 16th & January 6th., Our City Forest (OCF) held “Planting Parties” and a total of 55 new trees were planted in our Jeffrey Fontana & TJ Martin parks. The new trees were planted in select locations and in areas where dead or dying trees needed to be replaced. The professional staff of Our City Forest managed the program and provided direction and tools.

From left to right are MFPA Vice-President Richard Zahner, MFPA President Rod Carpenter, District 10 Councilmember Johnny Khamis, and OCF Planting Manager Rob Castaneda

These plantings were a major “once in a decade” opportunity and the Martin Fontana Parks Association Board of Directors wants to give a big “Thank You” to the OCF staff, MFPA members, and all the other volunteers who came out and helped make it a success.

This program was initiated by PG&E early in 2017 when they asked the MFPA Board to partner with them to find locations for new trees to replace the ones they were required to remove along Almaden Expressway.  A team of MFPA members created a ‘Planting Plan’ for consideration of the City Park Staff and PG&E.  The PG&E planting guidelines that limit the mature tree height for any trees under the lines were taken in to account during the negotiations. This avoids any possible contact with the lines and costly annual tree trimming.

Our plan was adopted in principle by PG&E and used in negotiations with the City and County. PG&E finished the removal of over 150 trees along Alamaden Expressway in late summer and then provided funding to OCF to plant replacements in our parks.  MFPA finalized the Planting Plan locations and the OCF Arborist coordinated tree selection with the City and PG&E.

From left to right are District 10 Councilmember Johnny Khamis, MFPA Project Manager Dave Poeschel, OCF rep, Brian O’Neill, and two others.

The trees were of the 15-gallon size from the OCF nursery. The City will provide water for a three-year program to assure survival of these young trees and OCF will manage the watering. Our continuing responsibility will be to support the OCF watering and report problems, if and when they occur.

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We hope you, your children, and future neighbors, will enjoy all the new trees and a have an attractive parks for decades.

 

 

 

TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Park Maintenance

TJ Martin and Jeffrey Fontana Parks are part of Maintenance District One, divided into three areas, or routes.  Our parks are two of twelve facilities including the Almaden library and community center and four other parks.  The staff caring for all 12 facilities consists of one Gardener and two Grounds workers.  We currently have an unfilled position of Maintenance Assistant that needs to be filled.  Two mowers are assigned to mow the 82.2 acres of turf in the district, so we are assigned every other Friday for our mowing days. On June 13 the soccer field renovation was mowed for the first time.

Irrigation, weeds, and rodents continue to be our worst nightmares.  Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services  are discussing the possibility of creating an irrigation strike team for the city to help with our never ending problems with our ancient irrigation system.

Remember, if you see an irrigation break, or something in the park that needs to be taken care of, send an email, with picture, if possible, to rzahner1@mac.com.

MFPA Vice President, Richard Zahner

 

Tell the San Jose City Council to improve the maintenance of our Parks

 

The San Jose City Council approved some token additions to the 2017/2018 budget for parks maintenance.  We are not likely to see any improvements, as the additions will go to parks that are rated much lower than ours.   There are still NO plans to fund the rehabilitation of neighborhood parks.  If the city council would take a realistic approach to maintaining our parks, we would definitely see some improvements.  Otherwise it will be business as usual in our parks and they will continue to deteriorate.

So how do we get the council to take action that will benefit Jeffrey Fontana and T. J. Martin parks?  The answer lies in LETTING THE COUNCIL MEMBERS KNOW THAT WE WANT TO SEE CHANGE AND THAT WE VOTE.  Here is an example of something that happened during the council’s last budget planning session.  There were a token number of attendees from MFPA and other San Jose park advocates.  However, one group that wanted a budget addition of $183,000 for their cause showed up in force.  They had Tee Shirts that identified them and they took the opportunity to make their two-minute pitches to the council.   The end result was that they got their $183,000 addition.  And by the way, their addition came out of the Park’s budget.

That action was effective but it’s only one way to get the council member’s attention.  Here are some suggestions that all of us could take to make our concerns known:

  • Send hard copy letters to our council member and to the other city council members expressing your concerns.  The letters are even more effective if they are signed by multiple residents.  If there is a pending discussion of parks or park budgets send the letters to the City Clerk as well.
  • Hard copy letters are the most effective but e-mails will also work.
  • Attend the neighborhood budget planning sessions.
  • Attend the pertinent council sessions and be vocal.  All attendees are allowed two minutes to make their points to the council.  You can include PowerPoint presentations if you like.  The atmosphere is not overwhelming and the Mayor and Council members will listen to what you have to say.  The more attendees who speak on the same subject the more effective the message will be.
  • Continue to support MFPA as membership numbers count.
  • Pay attention to MFPA requests for support when they are posted on the web site and/or sent via e-mail.   We will alert you to the important issues.
  • And please consider joining San Jose Park Advocates.  There is no membership fee but you will get timely and insightful information about overall San Jose park issues.  The website is: www.sjparksadvocates.org   Click on “Contact” to add your information.

Remember there is strength in numbers!

Richard Grialou, MFPA Political/Agency Liaison Chair

Ready for Action !

 

2017-bod

From left to right are: Pat Wagstaff (Recording Secretary), Greg Caillat (Director), Robert Braunstein (Director), Sunny Wagstaff (Director), Mike Kalashian (Treasurer), Rich Grialou (Director), Dick Stevens (PG&E Negotiations Chair but not a Board member), Linda Wilson (Past President), Rod Carpenter (President), and Linda Opp (Correspondence Secretary).  Not present is our new Vice President,Rich Zahner.

After conducting business, Linda Wilson, the outgoing President was presented an award for her time and service by incoming new President, Rod Carpenter.

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From left to right are Johnny Khamis (District 10 Councilmember), Linda Wilson, and Rod Carpenter.

District 9 Councilmember Donald Rocha submits Memorandum on Park Maintenance to City Council Rules Committee

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The following is a quote from Councilmember Rocha’s newsletter:

“Dear Neighbor,

Over recent months, I’ve received an increasing number of complaints from residents about the condition of parks in my district. Residents report problems such as dead grass, dead trees, overgrown weeds and decaying fixtures. In many cases they have waited patiently for these problems to be fixed, but are increasingly frustrated at the City’s continued inability to address their concerns. (As an example of the kinds of complaints I’ve heard, I’ve included some pictures of our parks at the end of this newsletter.) Given the seriousness of the problem, I have issued a memorandum intended to help bring forward potential solutions to the problem in time for next year’s City budget.”

Click here to read Councilmember Rocha’s memorandum 

 

Were our Voices heard?! You be the Judge.

Rod Carpenter speaks before the Council

 On Monday, April 11th, 2016, Martin-Fontana Parks Association members attended the San Jose City Council Parks Study Session at the San Jose City Hall, City Council Chambers.  Please click here for a video link to Study Session.

 

*NOTE:  Public comments start at the 39 minute mark and the Martin-Fontana Parks Association presentation starts at the 42 minutes mark. 

 

Martin-Fontana Parks Association included this slide show to accompany our comments before the Mayor, Council Members, and the Dept of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services (PRNS).  The following MFPA members spoke before the Council on these subjects relating to or two parks:

Introduction – Linda Wilson
Irrigation – Linda Wilson
Rodent Damages – Rod Carpenter
Park Safety – Rod Carpenter
Weed Control – Rich Grialou
Volunteers – Mike Kalashian
Sense of Community – Rosy Bowring

 

We encourage you to email your park maintenance concerns to the following city officials:

sam.liccardo@sanjoseca.gov

johnny.khamis@sanjoseca.gov

donald.rocha@sanjoseca.gov

rose.herrera@sanjoseca.gov

tam.nguyen@sanjoseca.gov

pierluigi.oliverio@sanjose.gov

magdalena.carrasco@sanjoseca.gov

manh.nguyen@sanjoseca.gov

raul.peralez@sanjoseca.gov

ash.kalra@sanjoseca.gov

charles.jones@sanjoseca.gov