The purpose of this letter is to invite and encourage Cays residents to take the 2023 Cays Park Options Survey at cayspark.weebly.com.
As you probably know, four conceptual options for the park have recently been presented by the Schmidt Design Group.
The position of the Coronado Futbol Club is simple and easy to understand: they want as much field space as they can get.
Compared to the Futbol Club, the complexity of the plans for us makes our desires as a community difficult to consolidate, and thus to express. This puts us at a distinct disadvantage.
Cays Park is really our only city park, we all live nearby, and viewpoints in our community about what it should be understandably vary widely.
At the same time the city staff is absolutely intent on getting the “big decision” — just how much soccer will dominate the park — made by the council on either Nov. 7 or 21.
Community usually given time to review
Normally in Coronado when a big project is proposed the plans are put up in the library for at least a couple of months to give the community plenty of time to look at them and discuss them amongst themselves.
In this case the big display boards should be posted in the HOA office as well.
Looking at little pictures on a monitor or phone is not the same thing. It might be fine for a quick reaction on your own, but to really study and think carefully, you need to be looking at the architect’s actual drawings and probably discuss them with the people you live with or nearby.
And yet, the total time that those drawings have been available to us has been 6 hours — not 2 months.
Because of this entirely self-imposed rush they asked the HOA board to move up their regular meeting, and the board obliged.
The plan now is that the city will present the park plans to the board on Oct. 19, and then the board will have just four working days to submit any comments they might want to make before the period for comments closes.
This “hurry up and get it done” timeline will set the staff up to ask for the council decision they want on Nov. 7.
Quite honestly, I feel like we are being railroaded. This is not the way to do business.
But this time, instead, we have had three 2-hour bam-bam sessions to do nothing more than take a quick look at the plans and then immediately do nothing more than put pro and con “post-it” notes on whiteboards.
Under these rushed conditions, the preponderance of comments are likely to be superficial because no one has had time to do anything else. Then the staff is going to “consolidate” what they have received for their presentation to the council.
With over 70 years of family history in the Village, and a lot of civic engagement over those years, I feel like I know how this works, and it isn’t good.
There can be an enormous amount of “slippage” between the post-it notes and feedback the staff gets, how they interpret it, and what they ultimately pass through to the council.
It is a process that does not work well for complex topics like the plans for Cays Park.
The data is the data
The 2023 Cays Park Options Survey is a means whereby every adult resident in the Cays can quickly and equally “speak” directly to the council without any “interpretation” or “filtering” involved.
The data is the data.
And although there are only 10 questions, they hopefully cover every important thing you might be thinking about regarding the park. Every question is designed to enable you to express your viewpoint no matter what it is, from “do nothing at all” to “let’s do everything.”
Two years ago, the 2021 Cays Park Survey had a phenomenal response rate of 518 residents (out of about 1200 homes), and it was instrumental in protecting the interests of Cays residents at a critical point in this master plan project.
My sense is that we are at a critical juncture again, and that it is essential that we again make our voices heard–very quickly, because of the staff’s rush this time.
Make your views known
Consequently, I hope, and request, and will even beg if I have to, that you make your views known on the 2023 Cays Park Options Survey at cayspark.weebly.com.
There are only 10 questions and it only takes a few minutes to complete.
Please feel free to give me a call anytime to talk about it; my contact information is on the website. I am your neighbor and I think we should have a park that is the best compromise of what we all would most like to see.
Kevin Reilley was born and raised in the Village and now lives in the Cays.