COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

Who can say for sure who will be Glendale’s next mayor? Whoever he (or she, viz., Laura Friedman) may be, it’s too bad that current Mayor John Drayman, an avowed tennis aficionado himself, didn’t enhance his leadership legacy by at least casting one vote — his own — to save the Central Park tennis courts when he last had the chance (“Rec. center’s approval ends years of delays,” April 1).

None of the preelection council members displayed the backbone to stand up to Los Angeles County’s veritable blackmail — i.e., its threat to cancel a $700,000 competitive grant if the city didn’t hup to it and award a tennis courts-demolishing Adult Recreation Center contract by the end of the year.

Yet, according to a recent report by Sacramento columnist Dan Walters, “It’s unclear how much federal stimulus money California will receive, but the initial estimate is about $85 billion.” (Other estimates have it at about $50 billion; but either way, it’s clearly going to be quite a large hunk of money!)

Furthermore, all of a sudden, there’s $3.1 million budgeted for a Griffith Manor Park refurbishment; millions more surface for a pool at Pacific Park; and, last but not least, still millions more are allocated for a major Maple Park renovation.

So, being suddenly awash in all this actual and/or potential recreation money, why didn’t/doesn’t the City Council just tell the county that it’s decided to save the Central Park tennis courts after all — ergo they can just take their control-freak $700,000 “grant” cudgel and bludgeon someone else, somewhere else, with it, thank you?

To facilitate being able to legally do this — post-Adult Recreation Center construction contract award date — I would quote a seemingly relevant part of the contract. To wit: “Period of irrevocability. Bidder agrees that this Bid shall remain open and shall not be withdrawn for a period of not less than sixty (60) calendar days from the date of award of Contract, or until rejected by the City, whichever period is shorter.”

During this time period, perhaps the contractor awardee, George C. Hopkins Construction Co., could take a look at previous designs for a better located, tennis courts-preserving Adult Recreation Center, i.e., ones that were drawn up but shortsightedly rejected, by the City Council in 2005, and see what kind of construction cost, as well as time to completion, estimate they can come up with for one of them instead.

And who knows, one or more might be considerably cheaper in today’s economic milieu than what its cost was projected to be back in 2005.


 HARVEY PEARSON is a Los Feliz resident.

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