Studio City : Plan to Transfer Park Leader Gets 2nd Look

City Councilman Mike Feuer's office said Wednesday that the head of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks has agreed to reconsider the transfer of the Studio City Recreation Center director, a decision that had the community up in arms.

According to Feuer spokesman Howard Gantman, department General Manager Jackie Tatum agreed to "review and reassess" Jon Klay's transfer to a Sun Valley park and make a decision in 30 days. Klay will stay at his Studio City post until Feb. 9, two weeks past the date that he was originally scheduled to take his new job.

"We're pushing for them to come back to us and explain why they want to transfer him in a strong way that the community can understand," Gantman said, "or else come up with a way in which he can stay."

On Wednesday, organizers of a petition drive in support of Klay dropped off their petition at Feuer's office. They said it had been signed by more than 300 adults and 60 children.

Petition coordinators, parents of children who are involved in park programs and play in the Rye Street park, said they don't want to lose Klay because he has created a strong sense of community, and because of his work developing and expanding park programs.

"In today's times, where there is a lack of community, Jon has built a real sense of community for all of us at the park," said parent Sandy Lavet, who with Shelley Gelber gathered the signatures.

Klay, who said he was overwhelmed by the community's campaign on his behalf, said he would like to stay on at the Studio City park. He added that he had been given no reason for his transfer.

"I basically do not want to leave. However, if that's what comes to pass, I will," Klay said. "I'll do whatever the department wants me to. I don't know if this is best for the two communities, but it's up to them."

Olga Singer, one of several department managers who made the decision to transfer Klay, said she felt the proposed transfer would allow Klay to use his expertise to make improvements at Stonehurst park in Sun Valley, and give the present Stonehurst park director--who would replace Klay--some valuable training.

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