Original post made by Disappointed, Menlo Park: Belle Haven, on Apr 4, 2007
Although I am glad that the MP council voted 3-2 to turn down the approval of funding for turf at an elementary school not located within the city, I am disappointed at the process. Many members of the community spoke against the turf, but their arguments were overlooked by several council members, who were apparently more in tune with their own inner voices (or some other voices, who knows?) than with the input provided by residents.
I am particularly unhappy by Rich Cline seizing the opportunity for a rant against people who don't like "uncute" teens. The issue isn't whether or not they're cute, or whether they deserve a place to play (I think they do). It's whether the playfields for an elementary school should be transformed into a single adult-sized field, thereby displacing playing areas for younger kids (who will go...where?), and whether the city can legally spend in lieu fees to support that transformation.
Instead, the council allowed itself to be distracted by discussions about teens (love 'em? hate 'em?) and the environmental consequences of turf (personally, I think it's a wash when you consider the chemicals they put on the grass, the fuel used by mowers, the amount of water required and other factors). I hope that the school board does a better job of staying on topic tonight.