Martinez Mayor's Message
Jun 10, 2018 09:30PM
● By Rob Schroder
Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez
The month of June signals high school graduation ceremonies, summer vacations, hot days, warm evenings, Martinez Clippers professional baseball, and the California primary election on June 5.
On the June ballot, Martinez residents decide on two open space and park protection measures: Measure F and Measure I. Both protect public open space, parkland, and recreational lands from more intensive development and require a vote of the people to change that designation. The difference between the measures is that private property rights are preserved in Measure F. Measure I is poorly crafted and will affect the private property rights of over 550 privately owned parcels.
Measure F does not threaten the Franklin Hills or any other publicly owned open space or parks as the Measure I proponents have been claiming. The Franklin Hill are owned and maintained by the East Bay Regional Park District. Mt. Wanda is owned and maintained by the National Park Service, and many other parcels are owned and protected by the John Muir Land Trust.
Be informed and go to the city’s website (www.cityofmartinez.org) to read the analysis of Measure I, review the maps, and open the spreadsheet that shows all of those affected, privately owned parcels.
On a much lighter note, the professional baseball season in Martinez has started, with the Martinez Clippers holding their season opener on May 31 against the Sonoma Stompers. There will be 38 home games, so there will be plenty of opportunities to sing “Take me out to the ball game” and enjoy an inexpensive day or night out with the family.
After missing our first opportunity to host a team in 2014, opportunity knocked a second time in late 2016. Since that time, the city council and city staff worked for over 11 months, including 11 subcommittee meetings and numerous meetings with league officials and team owners.
The Waterfront Park Renovation Project is almost complete, with improvements that include ADA access, walkways, parking improvements with field, and safety lighting. There is a brand new group picnic area and play area restroom. The professional level baseball field (field 3) was completed in time for the Clippers’ opening day and has seating for over 400 spectators. There is approximately $2.3 million remaining in the Measure H bond fund. These funds will be used to renovate Golden Hills Park and Highland Park.
Measure D, the ½-cent sales tax dedicated to improving our roads and streets, is surpassing our expectations as far as income generation. These funds, combined with the new gas tax increase Measure J funds has brought us to almost a ten-fold increase in funds for paving. The Brown and Green Street improvement project has already started, with more major street rehabilitation projects to be awarded and funded this summer.