Live-tweet thread by Ramiro Merino:

Tonight I’ll be documenting the @CityofFresno’s Parks, Recreation, and Arts Commission meeting for @fresnoland. Meeting starts at 5:30 p.m.

Join the meeting via @CMACTV livestream:

After roll call, it was announced Commissioners Maiyer Vang and Scott Miller will be absent for the remainder of the meeting.

There was no update for the Cultural Arts Plan.

Commissioner Parkes stated “Staff met with WRT last week and are ready to meet with the subcommittee to go over the Parks Master Plan.”

Commissioner Dr. Francine Oputa said “I want to acknowledge the lost lives from the tragic shootings.”

Commissioner Harman Singh said “I engaged with residents from a couple of parks. I wanted to make sure I spoke with residents before coming to this meeting and making recommendations on the budget.”

The meeting has now entered into public comment.

The City Clerk said “If your item is not on the agenda, now is the time to bring those up.”

Resident Kiel Lopez-Schmidt said “There should be a public workshop that goes over how the department does public engagement. We are running into issues with the designs that are missing key elements that does not include public input.”

Lopez-Schmidt added “I know there are a lot of community organizations that I will help bring to be part of that conversation.”

Resident Cynthia Piombino said “I have a few items I would like the budget to consider. I would like to see the warming centers open during the winter months. Cooling centers should be opened all summer months. Flyers should be posted in areas for those that need it.”

Resident Harmot Kaur said “We are looking forward to getting a new field for field hockey. Our kids are doing great things, they won gold medals last week.”

A resident in the Council Chambers said “I am very grateful for the Zoom access. I want to encourage the Commission to look at their resources and creatively reach the public who may not be able to attend.”

Student Ganeev Virk said “I would like to express my full support for including the cricket park in the City budget. This provides an amazing place for the community to gather. This would expand the amazing diversity in Fresno.”

Student Jasnoor Phangura said “I play Cricket but we sometimes are not able to practice because we have to share the park with another sport.”

Student Baring said “I play for the Fresno Field Hockey Club. We would like to have a field hockey turf in our area for those that are interested.”

Commission Chair Kimberly McCoy said “I will like to limit the public comment for item 12-A to only the Cultural Arts Plan or Parks Master Plan.”

Commissioner Sarah Parkes said “I don’t know how the rest of my fellow commission members feel, but I am thinking we can create a subcommittee on public outreach to engage the public.” This item will be added at the next Commission meeting.

We are now in the hearing to adopt the Fiscal Year 2023 Parks, After School, Recreation and Community Services (PARCS) Department Measure P Budget Recommendations.

Resident Alondra Williams said “I am in support of the proposal for Exposure Sports to be added to the budget.”

Resident Demetrius Porter said “I grew up on the west side of Fresno. We are looking to partner up with the Boys and Girls Club to provide mentorship and counseling for the students that do not have those resources.”

Resident Brenda said “I want to uplift and support the CNC proposal budget. I work with 22 youth and more than half of them love soccer. Of those, only 3 can afford to play sports. I know how important it is to have a safe space for our youth.”

A youth in the Council Chambers said “I support for a field hockey to be built.”

Resident Irfan Nasir said “We have been told over and over again that there is no place for cricket in our community. But we were here to tell you that there is support. Measure P Funds we’re raised to address the needs of the community.”

A soccer coach said “The soccer in the southwest area has been struggling with maintaining the fields. With the Budget P funds, this can help hundreds of students. We have a diverse population of youth but only have 2 parks we get to utilize. We have coaches that do it for free.”

A resident said “Myself & other volunteers helped give rides to people that needed to access the warming centers. My ask is to fund the warming and cooling centers during the hottest and coldest temperatures. We need to invest in community outreach and vans to provide rides.”

Another resident said “I am here to support funding for a new cricket field. My kids play cricket but do not have the proper ground.”

A youth said “I love playing cricket. I ask that you help build a cricket field.”

A father said “We struggle to find space for my sons to play soccer, but even more, we struggle to find a park with a soccer net. This city has youth with a lot of potential, we need to invest in this community.”

Another father spoke and said “Field hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world. We do not have a single park for field hockey. All we are asking is for one field. This is very important but I am not able to host a tournament here in Fresno.”

A parent and coach said “I support the CNC proposal. We have a hot spot for talent but they are having to go somewhere else because we do not have the adequate space for them to practice, such as soccer and field hockey.”

They added “I love that the children are here because they are the ones that will be using it as parents one day. Let’s include them more.”

A school teacher and soccer coach for Fresno Unified said “I was using the park when I was a youth and now I’m 50 years old and there has not been a huge difference. I am giving back to the community because when I was a youth, I had a coach that helped me.”

A resident said “Field hockey is the second most played sport in the world. Everyone is committed to this. We have come from overseas and have settled here. We are always ready to help back. Please consider a budget for field hockey.”

Another resident said “Fresno is a multicultural community. We have such a diverse population but we are not honoring them. Let’s give the soccer and field hockey their fields. I also support the warming/cooling centers and I would give them rides.”

A youth said “I play field hockey. I want to be in the US Olympic one day. We appreciate your support. Thank you.”

A father said “My oldest son is at UC Davis and plays field hockey. My other sons are also playing field hockey. We support the astro turf for the grounds so we can train the youth and get them to the next level.”

Another resident said “Diversity is like being invited to the party. But inclusion is asking them to dance. Let’s not give the funds to the police departments, let’s give the money to the programs in the Parks and Rex department.”

A Spanish speaking mother said “She raised 4 sons and one of them got a full ride scholarship to play soccer. It is difficult for us to workout at the park when there’s broken glass and holes. Of there is a budget, then let’s allocate these funds to support community health.”

A supporter for the San Joaquin River Parkway said “We have funding for the San Joaquin River Parkway that can be allocated. We haven’t had the chance to be a part of the conversation on how to use those funds. I urge you to consider us.”

Physical therapist Jagmit Dhah said “I grew up playing basketball, soccer and tennis and now live in the northeast area. I support the budget that the advocacy groups put together.”

A resident said “I want to be grateful for the public involvement. I hope we are able to get an engagement committee on the next 2 weeks so we can bring it up on the agenda.”

Another resident said “You talk about what parks can do, look at this room, this is what diversity brings & when we have access to parks. I really don’t think we need to involve the pd in the Park Ranger program. They already have a budget, we don’t need to pay them more.”

Another resident said “I ask that the Park Ranger program be under the Parks and Recreation department, not the police department. I want to uplift the few waivers ask because it will help low-income youth to be involved.”

Another resident said “We do not have a single ground in Fresno. We should get at least one field each for field hockey and cricket. Sometimes we have to go to Clovis and go to other parks just to practice. We do not have one place where we can play.”

Commission Vice Chair Jon Dohlin said “I was very inspired by the youth who spoke tonight.”

Commissioner Sarah Parkes said “We have a list of projects and have heard a lot of support tonight. For example, for Exposure Sports, what would the mechanism be. Would the City Council approve this?”

City Attorney Kristi Costa answered “It would have to be a city wide competitive grants initiative in which the City Council would develop the guidelines for the allocation of Measure P funds.”

Commissioner Dr. Francine Oputa asked “Is there a way we can get the information of Beautify Fresno to the gentleman who said he does cleanups in his community?” The gentleman will be provided with the information.

Commissioner Harman Singh said “I am very elated by the turnout tonight. I hope to keep seeing this.”

Commissioner Dr. Francine Oputa said “I move to approve CNC’s participatory budget.”

Commissioner Singh clarified & said the participatory budget is for $5 million.

Commission Chair Kimberly McCoy said “I would feel comfortable if we go forth w/ the public engagement first.”

The Planning Commission voted to recommend to the City Council to develop guidelines for the allocation of Measure P funds by August 2022.

There was some confusion amongst the Commission on what their voting and recommending tonight. City Attorney Kristi Costa clarified and said that they are voting to make recommendations for the City Council to consider, who ultimately have the authority.

Commissioner Sarah Parkes said “I vote no because we do not have guidelines to allocate these funds.” Commissioners Vice Chair Jon Dohlin and Chair Kimberly McCoy also agreed, but motion passed with 5 ayes, 2 noes.

Commissioner Vice Chair Jon Dohlin said “I think it would be worth to study if it would be better to fund multi-use parks rather than one sport specific park.”

Commissioner Harman Singh said “Cricket is a century old sport. Particularly in Fresno, we have had this request for over a decade. I don’t think it is fair to oversee this request since they have been waiting for a long time now. I do agree we should look into multi-use parks.”

Commissioner Dr. Francine Oputa said “I am concerned with the rewording of the motion because it sounds like we are allocating the funds for a specific group, not for all of Fresno.”

The Planning Commission voted to approve the recommendation for the Parks Department to work closely with the public to identify park needs.

Commissioner Harman Singh said “My recommendation is to put a stop sign/stop light along Clinton Street north of JSK Park. There is currently no sign for when people need to cross the street.”

City Attorney Kristi Costa said “I do not know how the recommendation would be handled on the backend.”

Commissioner Singh withdrew his motion.

The Planning Commission voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2023 Parks, After School, Recreation and Community Services (PARCS) Department Measure P Budget as recommended for City Council’s consideration.

With no further discussion, the Planning Commission meeting adjourned at 9:13 p.m.

The next @CityofFresno Parks, Recreation, and Arts Commission meeting is on June 20.

For more public meeting coverage from the @fresnoland Documenters, visit

Documenters

Originally tweeted by Ramiro Merino (@Ramiro_Merino_) on June 7, 2022.

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