You said it: Why Measure D is important

You said it: Why Measure D is important

Frank Matarrese

Measure D does more than just offering voters the chance to increase protection for Alameda’s parks. Measure D builds crucial momentum for preserving open space and creating new park lands for our Island community.

Measure D on the November ballot asks Alameda voters, "Shall the Charter of the City of Alameda be amended by amending Section 22-12 to eliminate language that allows the City Council to sell or dispose of public parks or any portion thereof if a new public park is designated, which means the sale or disposal of public parks must be approved by the electors?"

The City Charter as it currently stands, allows sale or swap on the conditions that "...the park will be replaced by another park of comparable size and utility which serves the same area with substantially the same amenities and improvements." The latitude allowed by of these conditions caused the recent uproar over a land deal involving a portion of the Corica Golf Complex, a simmering issue over the years. A YES vote would eliminate substantial ambiguities as to replacement of the disposed parkland.

A YES vote is important for shielding existing parks from sale or swap and for protection of new parks in Alameda. Alameda has no room for expansion and is among the most densely populated cities in the County. Every square inch of parkland is important to residents and visitors alike. YES on Measure D is recognition of just how important parks are to Alameda and, especially in these hard budget times, effectively removes parkland from being entwined in shortsighted budget balancing.

A YES vote is essential to sound planning for today's parks and for the future parks in Alameda. With future parks such as the Alameda Belt-line (thank you Jean Sweeney and all the voters supporting the 2002 park related Measure D which designated this land as open space). A YES vote can also build momentum needed for establishing future parks in the City's General Plan documents: Estuary Park at the foot of Oak Street, sports complex, Enterprise Park, other new parks, vital wetlands and wildlife refuge at Alameda Point. Finally, Measure D affirms Alameda's strong commitment to its parklands and the quality that they bring to our City.

Frank Matarrese is a former city councilman.