From the recent storm damage to a controversial proposal by Planned Parenthood, Isla Vista Recreation and Park District members discussed a wide range of local issues at their meeting last night.
New business included the reallocation of some IVRPD money into a contingency fund to pay for several projects throughout Isla Vista, namely the repair of beach access ways damaged by storm runoff, the repair of power lines in Tiki Village and the modification of IVRPD office doors to make them comply with handicapped accessibility regulations.
IVRPD General Manager Derek Johnson said transferring funds to a contingency account was very important.
“There has been pent-up demand to finance our projects that, in the past, we have put off,” Johnson said. “And now they can’t be put off any longer.”
A representative of Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara was at the meeting to appeal for a waiver of park usage fees for a rally for women’s health in Anisq’Oyo’ Park to be held Jan. 22. The rally celebrates the anniversary of the famous abortion-legalizing Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade.
As a result of a lawsuit brought against the IVRPD by the Libertarian Party of California, in which the park district was recently found in violation of the Brown Act that requires proper posting and access to public meetings, several park district members said they were wary of waiving the $200 park usage fee for a political event.
Diane Conn, an IVRPD director, said that, even though she fully supported the Planned Parenthood cause and would vote in favor of a fee waiver, the politics of the decision might cause problems by setting an IVRPD precedent to waive park usages fees for all political events.
IVRPD chairman Logan Green said the waiver should not be granted since the park district is currently having a difficult time financially.
“That’s my only concern about giving waivers at this time is that they can all add up,” Green said.
IVRPD director Bryan Brown told the Planned Parenthood representative that he supported the organization’s cause, but that a fee waiver for an event so politically charged would cause problems.
Brown said he wanted to express that his personal beliefs are different from what he thinks is right for the IVRPD, so he pulled a $20 bill from his pocket and donated it to the Planned Parenthood representative. His donation started a chain reaction of open wallets from the other members of the committee and the general public present at the meeting. After the donations ceased, Planned Parenthood was only $3 shy of the $200 it needed for the park usage fee, so board members did not vote on the waiver.
Board members also addressed the possibility of a meeting with Brooks Firestone, the new 3rd District representative on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.
“I’m hoping to meet with him to look at the beach access at Camino Pescadero that has been recently closed due to the storms,” Johnson said. “The beach access needs to be retrofitted.”
In other park district news, the extension of IVRPD’s alcohol ban to county-owned parks and beach access ways on Del Playa Drive will occur toward the middle of this month. Signs indicating the new permit requirements will be installed sometime next week. The IVRPD plans on making the Isla Vista Foot Patrol aware of the change in policy. There will be a review of the effectiveness of the ordinance in six months.