cowboyeagle05 wrote:I take issue with the idea that putting a new baseball facility in Reverchron that a private entity can use from time to time takes away park land. It enhances it and the park board was very upfront about not paving over Reverchron for parking lots and these proposals didn't propose that at all so I am confused as to why there is a suggestion that following through takes away park land. The land itself would be owned by the city still as well so it's not like they are selling off the park.
Do I agree that I would love to see the city invest in its assets properly yes of course. The reality is there seems to be confusion on how badly a baseball facility is actually needed outside of what the Dallas Eagles would use it. Is there enough demand from local smaller teams like local leagues to see some sort of facility here? The city tends to invest where there is pressure to invest and beyond the sheer fact that a barely functioning baseball filed is already there is there enough teams to warrant access here.
This privatization deal literally reduced park space by increasing the land area of the park dedicated to the baseball facility, all while rolling the dice on the rest of the park by privatizing it to this "nonprofit." Yes, the city would still own the land, but the park would be run by the private entity.
THEN, at the last minute, the RFP changed with no time to properly review and the nonprofit proposed eating up even more of the park for a "special abilities" field, further reducing park space and proving the naysayer's point that handing the park off to a private entity was a huge gamble for the surrounding neighborhood because we no longer knew what to expect. No traffic study, no environmental impact study, just trying to cram another private partnership through the process with as little transparency as possible. Everything I expected when Johnson won the mayoral seat.
The deal was half baked, vague, and became increasingly risky. It was very smart of the council to reject it and the only thing that surprised me was support by Chad West, who usually has better judgement.
Naturally, some of the loudest voices in support of privatizing Reverchon came from North Dallas council members, who represent people who mostly don't care about anything public nor anything beyond the single family lot boundaries of their tract house. It doesn't matter to them that one of the only parks available to Uptown/Oak Lawn residents would be privatized and the dice would be rolled for the impact to those nearby residents. The suburban districts get their sports team, some of their buddies back's scratched, and no direct impact to access to their parks. I would have loved to have seen Kleinman's opinion change if this minor league baseball stadium was proposed as stealing a park next to once of the tract subdivisions he represents. He would have faced a mutiny by North Dallasites.
On top of it all, I'm surprised that the $10 million investment by the nonprofit was seen as such a positive. $10 million is a drop in the bucket in the long term especially when it requires giving away control of one of the urban core's only large parks.