Park and Rec Updates: Potrero/PCH Bridge, Staff Shortages and  Park Advisory Boards

Landscaping is underway in the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero.
Photo: Courtesy Mike Bonin’s office.

Two items were of local interest at the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners meeting held electronically on November 4.

Commissioner and resident Joe Halper asked for General Manager Michael Shull to give an update at the November 18 meeting about the status of the pedestrian bridge at George Wolfberg Park at Potrero.

The state, pushed by local Senator Ben Allen, has ensured funding for the $11-million project. A July 13 CTN story (“State Will Fund Potrero/PCH Pedestrian Bridge, Offering Pedestrian Access to the Beach”) noted that “Most likely the money will go to the City’s Bureau of Engineering for construction, but a follow-up on the initial request (probably mid-September) will specify.”

Halper pointed out that the park, which will be considered a regional park, is in the process of being landscaped, and that it would be nice if the bridge project could get underway.

Halper also asked when interior Rec and Park facilities would be reopened to the public. He noted that the youth basketball season is rapidly approaching and hoped that gyms could be reopened.

He was told that permits are being given out to use the indoor facilities, but there likely will not be enough staffing to check vaccination status, which will be required by the City, which means gyms will stay closed to public use.

The Board of Commissioners listens to comments from Park Advisory Boards and the Pacific Palisades PAB will meet on November 10 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. (To join the meeting, visit meeting ID is 836 2579 9796 or you can call 669-900-6833 and use the same ID).

One item that may appear on the Palisades PAB agenda is turning one tennis court at the park into a pickleball court.

According to Halper, Park Advisory Boards are vital to the City and the Rec and Park Commission. Earlier this year, he said, “We have lost so many senior managers. They [PABs] are an important element.”

PAB members, according to the City manual, must attend Brown Act training. They are also supposed to assist with fundraising and special event efforts and are to advise Rec and Park Staff regarding types of programs and how the facility can meet the needs of the community.

The guidelines specify that each board shall consist of no less than five and no more than nine members, and that a member shall serve for a single two-year term, with the option to interview for additional terms. The Board is to meet once a quarter and meeting agendas need to be posted 72 hours in advance, per the Brown Act.

Additionally, the board is to be well-rounded, and the rules specifically state that each potential member must not have a personal relationship with a full-time or part-time RAP staff assigned to that facility, nor should the person have a personal relationship, such as business partners.

The Palisades Recreation Center PAB has 15 members, not including the youth rep and the park director, who do not have voting privileges.

So according to City rules, the Palisades PAB has five too many members.

The current members and the year they joined are: Mike Skinner (1999), Bob Harter (2012), Janet Anderson (2013), Bob Benton (1999), Todd Ferrier (no year given), Charlie Collins (no year given), Lynn Hylen (2013), Jay McCann (2019), Gustaf Soderbergh (2014), Kenny Spencer (2008), Andy Starrels (2005), Mike Tomas (2019), Kurt Wendorf (no year given), and Maryam Zar (2019).

(Editor’s note: Secretary Janet Anderson wrote in an email update to CTN: Charlie Collins is no longer on the PAB board and Todd Ferrier and Mike Tomas are the Tennis court co-concessioners so not on the board either.  And Rick McGeagh was left off your list.)

According to PAB rules, these members must have been registered as a RAP volunteer, been fingerprinted and cleared to volunteer — and be the only representative from an outside organization serving on the PAB.

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