November 6 was a historic day for Lodi Parks and Rec and it wasn’t because we opened a new park or began a new program.
It was because you, the voters of Lodi, went to the polls and decided that our parks and recreation programs were worth supporting. By passing Measure L, you chose to live in a community in which the Parks & Rec Department will still offer arts and other enrichment classes at Hutchins Street Square, will continue summer camp and after-school programs, and will still coordinate year-round special events and recreational sports for athletes of all ages.
In addition to funding other essential city services, you chose to live in a community that values and maintains parks, one that appreciates the role playgrounds and pools have in a child’s development, and one that cherishes the unique natural resource known as Lodi Lake Park and Nature Area.
Preserving essential services in the face of escalating costs was the primary goal of Measure L, followed by improving those services when funding allows. For Parks and Rec, this has exciting prospects. In recent years, we’ve shrunk full-time staffing back to the level we had in 1968 in order to pay for overdue repairs and replace aging facilities. Our employees have been asked to do more with fewer resources at their disposal.
New funding from Measure L has the potential to take off some of that burden. Although the City Council ultimately decides how to direct those dollars, the additional funding may allow us to accelerate repairing and replacing aging or missing playgrounds and make significant repairs to Lodi Lake Park. In that case, Parks & Rec can deliver improved recreation programs and services the community deserves.
November 6 lifted a dark cloud for Parks & Rec. The days are brighter. There will be a tomorrow. The men and women who have chosen parks and recreation as a career, and those part-time employees who help make our programs and parks safe, clean and enjoyable, extend their sincere thanks and deepest appreciation. Thank you, Lodi!