City of Tempe Neighborhood Grants

Posted in: Mitchell Park West
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  • 719w10th
  • Respected Neighbor
  • Tempe, AZ
  • 84 Posts
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in the text it says the benches bace the walkway.

-in this case, the benches at the ramada do indeed need to be moved.

Sorry I wrote my letter before reading all four posts.  I would like to add that there is no comfort in the summer on any bench that is without shade above it.  So I like the idea of placing them by trees.  Thanks, Pat Konomos
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  • 719w10th
  • Respected Neighbor
  • Tempe, AZ
  • 84 Posts
  • Respect-O-Meter: Respected Neighbor

And what about in the evening and at night? The Park is open until midnight. Shade doesnt matter, but a sense of security does. Having a bench in the open sometimes makes people feel more secure.

In addition, benches can be placed near site lights, not necessarily next to them, where they cast enough light to look at something, but not have to deal with glare, as well as increase feeling of security.

Try not to get locked into one idea about things when 'designing'. 'Design' is mostly about asking questions. Usually the more the better.

In addition, when Childsplay gets going, there is the possibility that more people will need a little 'Park Time'. So offering more varied experiences seems to make sense.

Also, 'if you build it, they will come'. So when the benches are installed, they will possibly make taking a stroll around the 'McGinn Walk' a routine that is a little more enjoyable.

There are many examples in very famous parks around the world where this happens. I've been to a couple, sure you have too.

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  • 719w10th
  • Respected Neighbor
  • Tempe, AZ
  • 84 Posts
  • Respect-O-Meter: Respected Neighbor

One component of the Neighborhood Grant was the naming and dedication by signage and placement of a bench in memory of Margaret McGinn. This component was presented at a neighborhood association meeting, along with a location diagram with added benches by an alternate manufacturer, and was approved by vote to move forward to apply for the grant . At the meeting a sub-committee was formed to flesh out the details, do some investigation as to process and inquire as to the bench manufacturer substitution.

The committee contacted the parks department. The Parks department has a standard bench thru a procurement contract. The Parks dept also did not allow another bench type to be installed in Mitchell Park. This was no surprise. I have confirmed this last week. As such, using the standard bench style is acceptable to me.

The other component of the grant application was the 'McGinn Walk'. There is substantial support in the neighborhood for this idea. The sub-committee also contacted Parks about this component. The reply from parks and relayed to the MPWNA Board at a Board meeting, was that it was a 'Council process'. This is true. I have confirmed this with Parks. In fact Parks wrote the 'process' per Council direction for naming 'major public facilities'. In essence it says, "it's a Council process and decision on a case by case basis." I will attempt to post the pdf from the Dir. of parks with the Council approved 'process' on this site.

Naming McGinn Walk is a sub-element to a major facility, Mitchell Park (named after Harry Mitchell's father or grandfather, i'm not sure). There is no process in place. Council has directed Parks to define this process too. I suspect it will be the same few paragraphs with a couple words changed. 

When the vote to approve was made at the last neighborhood association meeting, there was substantial time to investigate this topic thoroughly. I don't think this happened. The actual 'process document' approved by the City was not presented to the Board. The Board was presented incomplete information. The Board voted to 'suspend' the McGinn Walk from the application. The decision to suspend this component from the application needs to be approved at a neighborhood association meeting.

I spoke with the Asst City Manager yesterday.  I asked him if it were possible at this time to add this item to the Issue Review Session prior to the next Town Council meeting tomorrow night. He said items have to be added 2 weeks in advance. i also asked if an email to all Council members with a request for a 'straw vote' would be advisable. he replied, this would probably antagonize the Council members more than it would be their pleasure to discuss and vote upon. I agreed with his rationale to respect the Council's busy schedules.

Therefore it is too late to include the McGinn Walk into the Neighborhood Grant application. Since the current naming process is so informal, I feel more effort and creativity to get this accomplished and respecting the neighborhood association wishes should have been exercised, and that a successful inclusion was very obtainable.

A sub-committee's role is to perform due diligence respecting the wishes of the Neighborhood Association. In addition, the scope of a sub-committee is not to re-formulate or remove elements of the scope of the project under their scope of work. The role of a sub-committee is to investigate and bring to the Board all the options for actions in a timely manner. A sub-committee is not the final arbiter of the scope of work. The Board is in some cases, as the elected representatives for the community,  and finally by vote of the neighborhood association is the correct process.

To present other 'options' to the McGinn Walk, as a reason for not pursueing this element of the Grant was not a valid process, and certainly not acceptable to executing the trust of the wishes of the neighborhood.

I understand that the sub-committee; David Saar, John Purchase and Marcia Kyle, Board Chair and ex-officio member of the sub-committee are all volunteers. Everyone involved in the neighborhood association is a volunteer. We all have time constraints.

Acting outside the authority of positions of trust placed on elected members of the Board and members of the community has been a topic of discussion for the last few months. It may have been in-experience or lack of a clear understanding of the role of sub-committees that led to the exclusion of the McGinn Walk in the Grant Application. It appears as if other ideas influenced the sub-committee. But for myself, i'm saddened that the McGinn Walk element of the Grant was the victim.

In 'service to the community' means to put aside some or yourself and your prejudices, even what may be best for yourself. Actions and intentions should be aimed at goals that preserve and enhance the neighborhood as whole. By preserve, it can mean 'history' of the neighborhood. If this is not apparent in the actions, attitude and ideas of members of the community in positions of trust, then it seems to me that some other reason is driving their involvement in the association.

-Mark Lymer, resident

 

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