Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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R & P to Board: Not tonight, dears?

Recently, Chicken Corner has been hearing talk about friction between Rec & Parks officials and a citizen's advisory board involved in the $90+ million cleaning of Echo Park Lake that soon will start. The project will involve draining the lake, re-lining the bottom, as well as a redesign of the green spaces surrounding the water. Big project, big impact. A lot at stake if you care about the park and the plants and creatures who live there or visit. To make it all good, meetings must be planned and carried out, information shared, opinions respected.

So, if Chicken Corner correctly interprets all the clucking, it seems Rec & Parks folks want to shoo the Park Advisory Board (comprised of volunteers) back into their coop by rescheduling the group's regular Tuesday meetings. According to a person I will call X:

[The Park Advisory Board is] being told to change tonight's meeting, today!
No way is this possible, the Park Advisory Board have already invited Bureau of Engineers to address the lake drainging and a School teacher who is studying the lotus.
It's as though Wreck and Parks assumes the Advisory Board is doing nothing...but actually this is a vital and intensive group looking to make positive change in the community.

X says this fits a pattern of disrespect to the board by Rec & Parks:

So the Rec and Parks keep appointing these "Directors in Charge" to show up at he PAB meetings. They are mostly hostile, high handed and treat the volunteer board as lowly employees. took a huge amount of work to get consensus to have a regular meeting Tuesdays. Well the Chair was TOLD to change it, the chair ignored this demand and had the previous meeting as scheduled. ... The issue here is that if they change the night this will likely being only the beginning of a pattern of destructive alterations, perhaps designed to weaken or end the Board's involvement.

One thing we know is true: It's crucial that the community/public be allowed to participate in the planning of this the very least in an advisory way.

It's also important that the meetings be attended. The public is urged to show up for the meeting planned for this evening at 6:30. At the Echo Park Library at 1410 W. Temple St.

For a detailed overview of the project, click here.

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