The dilapidated state of the Rose Garden trellis is emblematic of the much-needed maintenance at so many city parks and facilities, says Isabelle Gaston in one of two op-eds on Berkeley’s parks published recently on Berkeleyside. Photo: Isabelle Gaston
The dilapidated state of the Rose Garden trellis is emblematic of the much-needed maintenance at so many city parks and facilities, says Isabelle Gaston in one of two op-eds on Berkeley’s parks published recently on Berkeleyside. Photo: Isabelle Gaston

In the past few days, Berkeleyside has published two opinion pieces focused on the city’s parks and spending.

Diz Swift, a Berkeley public works commissioner, argued last week that Berkeley does not have the money to maintain all of the city’s parks and other facilities. There is an urgent need, Swift writes, to write “an over-arching, coherent plan for maintaining city facilities.”

“We’re very good at building new things,” Swift writes, “but then we neglect to remember we have to have funds to maintain them. Maintenance just isn’t very ‘sexy.’”

Yesterday, Isabelle Gaston, president of the North East Berkeley Association, echoed some of Smith’s concerns, but focused on the growing spending on city personnel when there is such a desperate need for spending on parks and other cherished facilities.

“The money is clearly in the City’s budget,” argues Gaston, “but City Council has set it aside for other priorities.”

Read Smith’s full Opinionator piece, Berkeley needs a better parks, facilities plan, and Gaston’s Down the garden path with the Berkeley City Council, and add your voice to the conversation in the Comments on the individual op-eds.

Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles. We ask that we are given first refusal to publish. Topics should be Berkeley-related, local authors are preferred, and we don’t publish anonymous pieces. Please email submissions to us. Berkeleyside will publish op-ed pieces at its discretion.

Berkeleyside staff

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