indygirl7 | Indy Week

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Re: “Bad blood brewing over Old North Durham Park

Some clarification on " vivala's" understanding of who the "rather large group" is:

Old North Durham NA and Duke Park NA may be listed somewhere as supporters of the FONDP plan, but in fact, that support is actually just a majority vote at whatever poorly-attended neighborhood association meeting where the vote took place.

In Old North Durham's case, many if not most of the FONDP live there, but as neighborhood associations typically go, let's say ....10-15 people....would be a good guess and that's generous. Hard to say, as no one seems to be able to find any listing ANYWHERE of who the actual members of FONDP actually are. (And yet, The City of Durham Parks Department is in partnership with them....go figure.) In Duke Park's case, the matter was voted on three separate times as it was such a divisive and controversial issue. The last vote was 7-6, and that is out of only 13 voting members who attended the NA meeting. Before that, the vote was a 4-4 split by their BOD. So, don''t be swayed by "neighborhood" support. It is not what it appears. Very few people in the community are informed about the background and history of the park, including many of those who voted to support FONDP. The school building is, I believe, owned by Bob Chapman and his wife, and as the article states, they are also on the school's board and own another large piece of adjoining commercial property.

On the other hand, the public meetings...the first in particular, drew close to 140 sign-carrying supporters who want the park left with the soccer field at it's current size, although improved as per the City's plan of a few year's back. That is considerably greater than the actual number of people who came in support of FONDP at all three meetings combined. Unfortunately, the 140+ supporters, many if not most of whom, reside in the adjoining apartment communities (low-income housing, primarily Latino) and their allies do not have the same financial, political, and social connections that FONDP and CPSFC's Board members have.

Durham City Council...take note! There is a solution here somewhere that could actually be a "win-win." If the City needs financial help they should, by way of an entirely transparent process, seek a private partnership with some professional and well-vetted entity, that is capable of thinking "outside of the box" , is masterful with methods of true "participatory planning", and that does not have the same vested interest in the Park and surrounding buildings that CPSFC's Board members have. Such a partnership, if done properly could seek to embrace the families and community that reside there and currently use the park most , while at the same time, provide elements that other users would also enjoy. I am pretty sure that El Kilombo wants that as well. A "level playing field" in the figurative sense.

"Big capitalist conspiracy" are not El Kilombo's words, they are the presumptions of "mkj" above. Verbal bashing like this about this small organization is typical, has been going on far too long by people who really ought to know better, and is rarely based on anthing factual.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by indygirl7 on 04/19/2011 at 9:18 PM

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