Kermit King Elementary School Student Council came to visit City Hall on Friday, May 20, to participate in a Mock City Council meeting with yours truly and Director of Library and Recreation Services Julie Dahlen along with other City staffers. Their sole discussion item was Library fines and the students were challenged to determine whether fines encourage the community to return their books in a responsible way or if the fines were too imposing and discouraged citizens from coming to the City Library. The Kermit King Student Council representatives were divided into two groups – one advocating for the fines and the other opposing. Each group had many intelligent speakers and the students collaborated and discussed the agenda item at great length. In the end, the students provided helpful suggestions, valuable insight and great views on each side. Student Representatives came up with several ways to better contact citizens whose library books were overdue by means of email and phone reminders, and discussed how taxes collected throughout the City could be
used to better help the Library. The final vote was to unanimously keep the Library fines in place since they encourage the community to be responsible with Library books and materials that they check out, with the addition
that citizens should be contacted often and reminded to return their overdue materials in a timely manner.
The City Council recently approved a 119 room Marriott Residence Inn hotel project at Union Road, just west of Barney Schwartz Park. The hotel project is also located close to the intersection of Union Road and Highway 46 East, and as a result, much of the Council discussion focused on traffic generation and traffic circulation solutions at this intersection. It should be noted that municipal water supplies are sufficient to support this development. (Actually, the City has three sources of water, sufficient for build-out. The significant recent water usage cutbacks have been a succesful response to a State-wide mandate to reduce water usage, regardless of supplies.)
The City Council has also taken the first step toward renovating Larry Moore Park in the Riverbank area. The park will become part of the City-wide park system, effective July 1, 2016. It will be programmed for youth sports activities by the City. These renovations will relieve the neighborhood of the expense of maintaing the park and programmed activities/future improvements will create a clean, safe recreational environment.
Pickleball players from as far away as Hawaii, Arizona, Utah and Oregon came to Paso Robles Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15, to take part in the 3rd Annual Paso Robles Pickleball Tournament at Centennial Park. I did my part. I declared May 9-14 as International Pickleball Week in Paso Robles.
The Second Annual Cycle de Mayo in Templeton Park, put on by bicycle associations in Atascadero and Paso Robles with the help of our respective cities, was a great success. On Sunday, May 22, we had about 60 participants in the Bike Rodeo for kids, and about 225 attendees at the BMX show. The BMX show weaved in a strong emphasis on bicycling safety, teaching hand signals, helmet use, rider awareness, etc. We also had a lot of interested folks review our trail displays, and County plans for the bridge connection in Templeton, as well as future improvements in Atascadero on Hwy 41, as well as interest in funding options. The volunteer support was exceptional, and included folks from the local bike community, REC foundation, and Troop 434 scouts. Special thanks to Steve and Carol Fleury, Amanda Ross, K-Man bike shop, the SLO County Bike Coalition, and our event sponsors. The generous donations of time and funds to put this event on help make this a wonderful community!
Road repairs continue at full speed within the city. Since the Supplemental Sales Tax was passed in 2012, the City has completed repairs on the following streets using this funding source: Airport—Pioneer Trail to Linne, Country Club Drive—Niblick to Golf Course Parking Lot, South River Road—Niblick to Navajo, Rolling Hills—Creston to Golden Hill Road, Union Road—Kleck to Prospect, 21st Street—Riverside to Vine, Spring Street—16th to 24th, Walnut—Creston to Union, Jackson—Shannon Hill to Union, Shannon Hill—Creston to Walnut, 12th Street—Spring to Fresno, and Scott Street—Creston to Airport.
The Council has held its first public workshop on the new city budget. The public will have two more opportunities to weigh in: June 7 and June 21. If you can’t make those dates please feel free to send your ideas and suggestions to me or any of the Council. You will find our email addresses at the City website: www.prcity.com.
On Oct. 27 we will repeat our successful MASH (Mobile Assistance Services for the Homeless) event in Paso Robles at the Paso Robles Event Center. Last year’s prototype event was so successful we are holding another and five other similar events are projected across the county. Last year more than 80 people received vital services from 22 different agencies. This is a very real and very effective way to provide assistance for the homeless and get them started on a path out of homelessness.
Until next we blog, here’s to you Paso Robles!