Happy New Year! 🎉 🎈 It feels good to be back online in our first blog post of 2020.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be amping it up 📣🧨, with important news, analysis, and events coming your way – so stay tuned and please spread the word far and wide RIGHT NOW to your friends and other supporters to subscribe to our email updates. All they need to do is CLICK HERE and provide their email in confidence. We don’t solicit or share anyone’s email address.
Three things to start the New Year.
1. January board meeting. The next DMUSD board meeting is January 22 at 5:45 p.m. Please attend if you can, whether or not you want to speak. Now that we’ve gotten the word out to Greater Del Mar, public opposition to the board’s “Fields for Parking” design is running at nearly 90%. Keep your yard signs up, and let’s continue to keep the community informed and involved. Our rolls have continued to swell – even over the holidays – and our website and in-person meetings are reaching deep into the community.
2. December board meeting. While DMUSD has sat and listened to the community’s concerns in the last few months, the school rebuild process has been deeply flawed. Despite all of our emails to the district, meetings with trustees, and speaking at board meetings, we have not budged the district on their current school design in any meaningful way, to re-claim the play space our children need both during school and after. In fact, at the December board meeting we were told that the school district would not under any circumstances continue to consider a two story school design to help save the fields. Case closed.
While some people thought it was because neighbors wanted one story, it became obvious that keeping the school to one story has NOTHING to do with the neighbors or preserving their views. Indeed, at the December meeting there were neighbors begging for a two story option to save the fields! The school district simply said they want the school one story – one story with an 8,772 square foot West-facing building that will be 30 feet tall with two story windows! A building both trustees Rafner and Wooden have commented would be sufficiently opulent with views suitable for a great wedding venue.
Fields for Weddings. 🥂 This is where things ended at the December board meeting. Nowhere did anyone ask for a multipurpose room that is 30 feet tall and fancy enough to host weddings. The elementary students didn’t ask for that, and if anything it will only distract them from studies. The Greater Del Mar Community did, however, ask for the preservation of the playing fields – time and again, month after month. The problem now is that the district claims their self-imposed timeline, the result of them steadfastly refusing to listen to community feedback since September – requires that they stick to the unpopular plan they decided on early in the summer even though they didn’t disclose it to the Greater Del Mar Community until September.
Rather than be discouraged, it’s important to remember this is a process – likely a very long one. There’s only one way to turn around an ocean liner – slowly. To switch to a baseball metaphor, I figure we’re in the “top of the third” inning. Let’s be persistent and patient and remember that we are doing this not only for ourselves and the kids of today but for the kids yet to come, who will hopefully play on the fields we save and never know how close they came to not having them. Every time I need more energy, I just think of them.
3. Environmental Report. One thing that’s likely to happen any day now is the district will present its draft environmental impact report. When that happens we’ll all need to study it and provide feedback. If you have comments, you need to get them to the district or send them our way and we can pass them on if you prefer to remain anonymous.
More to come in the next few days.
Thank you for supporting Play Outside Del Mar and for your commitment to outdoor recreational play spaces for our children. You serve a vital public service and we are grateful that you participate!!