Fraser rec center uproar is sad but circumstances dictate it
August 19, 2008
To the Editor:
It makes me very sad that there is so much resentment and negativity surrounding the Fraser recreation center. But, unfortunately, it is well deserved.
I wonder if the voters/taxpayers in the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District would have voted for the center had we known it would be the “Grand Park Rec Center”?
It feels to me as though we, as a community, are buying the Grand Park development a very nice amenity, something that they can certainly use to their benefit for selling real estate. What was supposed to be a very generous donation of land (which it was) had many strings attached and now feels very self-serving.
When I spoke recently with Clark Lipscomb, he informed me that the name has already been decided and it would be “The Grand Park Rec Center.”
What an insult to our community to not even have the words “Fraser” or “community” in the name. What happened to the “mutually agreed upon” clause regarding the naming of it?
It seems to me that the best official name would be “The Fraser Valley Community Rec Center at Grand Park,” at the very least. There is MUCH in a name. “Grand Park Rec Center” certainly implies to me that it is privately owned, not a community center.
And, while I am generally in favor of private/public partnerships, there needs to be clear understanding of each partner’s role, contributions and accompanying respect.
Is not the taxpayer paying the bulk of the center’s costs? I urge the Fraser Rec District Board to do their job, which is to act as public trustees and guardians of the public trust. Their job is NOT to build amenities for private developers. And yes, I realize that the naming is just one of many controversial issues surrounding the rec center.
I urge that the Board go back to the drawing board on every aspect of this project, and do it in a transparent and accessible process. Finally, I urge all of us as taxpayers and residents to inform our elected officials on the Fraser Rec District Board of what we believe needs to happen on this project.
If we want them to do their job, we need to do our job; to be an informed and vocal citizenry.