George Wolfberg Park Early Closure a Mystery

Even though this area had rain yesterday, the sprinklers were on in the George Wolfberg Park around 8 a.m. today.

“The last two days George Wolfberg Park gates have been locked at 4 p.m. when we’ve tried to gain entrance,” a reader wrote CTN on March 4. “Sunset is at about 6 p.m. and the signs say the park is open until sunset. Any idea what’s going on?”

Finding why residents were unable to gain access to a city park past 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, seemed like it would be a simple process.

The hours are sunrise to sunset according to LAMC section 63.44. Initially when the park opened in December, former Councilmember Mike Bonin, despite community requests had failed to present a motion to change the hours, which would have allowed the park to stay open until 10:30 p.m.

The day after she took office, December 12, Councilwoman Traci Park revived an agenda item to post park hour signs to reflect sunrise to sunset at George Wolfberg Park.

So, the resident who emailed CTN was correct that the park should be open in the late afternoon.

CTN emailed Pacific Palisades Community Council President Maryam Zar, Potrero Committee member David Card, Palisades Recreation Center Director Jasmine Dowlatshahi and West Region Rec and Park Superintendent Sonya Young-Jimenez, asking why the resident could not access the park after 4 p.m.

Card recommended reaching out to city Rec and Park employees Dowlatshahi and Young-Jimenez, which CTN had done.

Zar wrote in an email, “I know of no formal change.”

CTN called the Rec Center on Sunday and asked about the closure, but the employee did not know. He recommended calling Dowlatshahi on Monday.

CTN called the Rec Center around 10 a.m. on Monday, March 6, and was told Dowlatshahi was unavailable. CTN left a message.

No one called back, so the editor walked to the Rec Center around 1 p.m., knocked on the office door and when a worker answered, this editor asked if Dowlatshahi was available, and said the editor just needed a response for a reader about why the park had closed early.

The door was shut in my face. A few minutes later, the worker opened it and said that Dowlatshahi was just about to go in a Zoom meeting and was unavailable.

Once again, the editor gave her phone number and asked if someone could call before 5 p.m. The worker said that Dowlatshahi had meetings all day. No one called back.

The sprinklers were also on around 8 a.m. this morning in the Wolfberg Park and the ground was soggy. CTN also wanted to know who to contact to ask to turn them off.

Hours later, following up on emails and telephone calls, and making a trip to the Rec Center, CTN still doesn’t know why the park was closed at 4 p.m. last week and still doesn’t know who to call to have the landscaper turn off the sprinklers.

This is what CTN does know, according to Transparent California, in 2021, Dowlatshahi’s total pay and benefits were $129,612, and in 2020, Sonya Young Jimenez’s was $176,074 in total pay and benefits.

These employees salaries are paid for by residents of this city, so it seems a simple reply even if it was “don’t know,” isn’t too much to ask.

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7 Responses to George Wolfberg Park Early Closure a Mystery

  1. Jill says:

    Why don’t you ask Traci Park
    to look into it? FYI in the past whenever I called Bonin’s office they always answered and resolved issues. Noah Fleishman in particular was terrific. I have had no similar results with Park’s staff. When I email Traci Park I get an autoreply that she is too busy to answer constituents’ emails but someone in her staff will get back to me. When I have called, I have been told the palisades staff person is gone for the day (4pm) and that he will call me back. He never did. After about five tries (email and phone calls) I finally got one email response which was disappointing given that I was promised a return phone call.

  2. J.A. says:

    Many of us have had the exact same experience with both Jasmine and Sonya. They are never available when called, unresponsive to emails, and when finally reached, unhelpful and even contemptuous. The entire Palisades Rec office has been trained to be non responsive to inquiries or complaints. They have forgotten they ultimately work for the public. It is a travesty what has happened since the retirement of (former director) Erich Haas.

  3. Tony Lynn says:

    Once again, thank you for caring where HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of our tax dollars are being wasted Sue! Not to mention our 100 MILLION DOLLAR PARK (including our pedestrian overpass!). Anyone want to bet they start work on PCH THIS SUMMER?! Jefferson was right, you can’t trust government, ITS NOT THEIR MONEY!!

  4. Elizabeth Alford says:

    Someone wanted to go home early? Had an emergency two days in a row? A simple honest answer (gosh what a salary!!), rather than slamming the door in a resident’s face, would have been ideal. Thank you to Sue for investing so much time and effort trying to get that answer.

  5. Aileen says:

    I walked at Potrero yesterday starting at about 10:45 am. I entered at the gate by the children’s playground. I ran into a groundskeeper who asked me where I came in and was the gate unlocked? He was there checking on that and the sprinklers running. We walked down to the area together and talked. Frustrating situation for all city workers.

  6. Jerry McBrearty Sr says:

    It’s unclear why this park is fenced at all. Are other L.A. City parks fenced? I’m not aware of any. The main park in the Palisades is not fenced. Griffith Park is not fenced.

  7. donna says:

    If you haven’t checked out the state of the art, self cleaning bathrooms, it’s a must see. They are dirty, “this is why we can’t have nice things”

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