“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.