The “Paseo Park” Chronicles: The Park That Never Was. Or Is. Part 3

So far we have chronicled the story of a city park that nobody needed, with a proposed name no one wanted. Once construction was done, what had heretofore been a waste of time and money was soon to take a new twist.

chubby-checker-twist_l
No, not that kind of Twist, Chubby.

It was discovered that a flume of toxic material contaminated the west half of the park.

Oops. They're all empty. Now that's not very good, is it?
Oops. They're empty. Now that's not very good, is it?

Nobody in City Hall had bothered to do an environmental assessment before buying an old piece of industrial zoned property: not Gary Chalupsky the Redevelopment Director; not Susan Hunt the Community Services Director; not Bob Hodson the Engineering Director. All these Directors and nobody was directing anything. Perched atop of this shaky pyramid of incompetence sat Jim Armstrong, just waiting to bug out for the soonest better deal that offered itself. By the time the park was built Armstrong was gone, and his protege Chris Meyers was in charge – and probably damn glad this was Fullerton, where nobody was ever held accountable for anything.

This'll come in handy...
This'll come in handy...

Since 2003 a fence has been set up around the contaminated half of  the park. Meanwhile the City has been wrangling with the Gas Company over clean-up costs. This is now 6 years of embarrassing closure, and counting.  Half the park has been fenced off.

Not much of a park, is it?
A lot of chainlink fence and dead grass. Not much of a park, is it?

Meanwhile, too, the few Fullertonians who were actually paying attention found out how little park $1,500,000 in land and $1,900,000 in construction gets you nowadays: a prefabricated toilet building, among other things. And the City continued its tradition of ludicrous design, for instance a monument sign with its own little roof! How precious!

What kind of genius would put a tile roof on a sign? And how come the tiles are broken?
What kind of genius would put a tile roof on a sign? And how come the tiles are broken?

And as predicted, the half-park attracted just the sort of element you don’t want hanging around your parks and your kids – gang taggers, cholos, and neighborhood borrachos. Fortunately few kids seem interested in playing there anyway.

In the proposed Redevelopment expansion this would be proof of blight!
In the proposed Redevelopment expansion this would be proof of blight!

As this park degenerates we wonder how long it will be and how many consultants hired and studies performed to recommend the re-Redevelopment of this park; or to pave it over for Metrolink parking! Since we know that the City doesn’t like to part with territory once they acquire it, we can only speculate about future foibles in the Never Ending Story.

Read the rest of the Paseo Park Chronicles – Part 1Part 2 – Part 3

7 Replies to “The “Paseo Park” Chronicles: The Park That Never Was. Or Is. Part 3”

  1. 3.4m for this park? Wow, someone must have left the check book out that day.
    Meanwhile, in what should be the crown jewel: Hillcrest is left with a dirt filled fountain and pond, an unimaginative cabin, lack of vegetation on several banks, and a general feeling that well, parks are for poor people so who really gives a hoot.

  2. Elderly man stabbed in Fullerton park

    Thursday, May 21, 2009 – A 76-year-old Fullerton man is recovering after being stabbed in the stomach while playing cards at a local park on Wednesday, Fullerton police Officer Hazel Perez said.

    Police are searching for a suspect, identified as Manuel Gonzalez, 57, of Fullerton. Police say Gonzalez walked up to the victim at 12:38 p.m. on the patio at Union Pacific Park, 121 W. Truslow Ave., and assaulted him with an unknown weapon.

    The victim told police the two had a verbal argument on Tuesday, Perez said. On Wednesday afternoon, Gonzalez allegedly walked up to the victim and, without saying a word, stabbed the elderly man in the upper right abdomen, Perez said.

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/gonzalez-victim-perez-2422837-police-fullerton

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