Friends, when we left off our dismal tale of “Paseo Park,” the City Of Fullerton had just decided to build itself a park; a park that nobody outside of City Hall asked for or wanted. Susan Hunt, the Director of Community Services, long known for her jealous exclusion of citizens from deciding issues that affected “her” parks, was just shifting into high gear.
In December, 2002 City staff presented the City Council with a name for the new jewel in the city parks crown: Paseo Park – a name, so staff claimed, that was chosen by the assent of some sort of “Advisory Committee.” The only problem was Susan Hunt made the whole thing up. The name was her idea – she just decided that the cliche fit the bill; after all, one of the phony reasons for buying the old right-of-way was to extend Fullerton’s trail system. And you can’t walk on a trail (no matter how truncated) without passing from point A to point B, and it was in the barrio, after all; hey presto: Paseo Park!
Well that foolish Spanishification got shot down almost immediately as Tony Bushala, the next door neighbor, took umbrage at the ignorant oversight of the UP’s role in Fullerton history and the exclusion of the public in the naming process. Later, the City Council fittingly named the new facility the “Union Pacific Park.”
Staff embarrassment should have been acute when it later became apparent that there was no park “Advisory Committee” at all; except that embarrassment presupposes guilt and shame, two emotions not known to exist in abundance in the west 300 block of Commonwealth Avenue.
In the meantime, the plans and specs were put out to bid, a contract was awarded and construction got underway.
And here the story would have ended, except for the Law of Unintended Consequences that seems to bedevil almost everything our Redevelopment agency puts its hand to.