BY JUNE FABRYKA-MARTIN
I submit the following requests for your consideration regarding tonight’s agenda item for updating the County-wide Trails & Open Space Management Plan:
(1) I request that Council re-affirm that the 2012 Trail Management Planning Documents constitute the County’s only officially adopted trail management plan. This extensive set of documents is included in the Council’s agenda package as “D – 2009 Trails Management Plan” (the 2009 label is misleading). Please do not allow a precedent to be established in which a new department director can hire a consultant to develop a new plan simply because he was unaware that the County already had one.
(2) I request that Council not approve hiring an outside consultant to update the County-wide Trails & Open Space Management Plan, at least not at tonight’s meeting. The public has not had sufficient opportunity to express its concerns and aspirations in a meaningful way, not has it had any indication that CSD’s decision-making about open space and trails has been at all influenced by public input to-date. For example, the Park and Recreation Board’s Open Space Advisory Subcommittee was only reconstituted last month, and has not been asked to review or comment on the process for updating the plan.
(3) I request that Council create a Trails & Open Space Task Force, with an appropriate charter and sunset date, to provide a formal mechanism that empowers open space and trail stakeholders to be directly involved in the Trails & Open Space plan updates, from start to finish. Council would be the best body to review applicants for such a task force to ensure that all perspectives are represented — including cultural, archaeological, ecological, wildland fire management, tourism and transportation, in addition to the diverse recreational uses of trails and open spaces. The task force’s charge would include making a recommendation to Council regarding a scope of work for a consultant or contractor, if it felt one would be appropriate.
(4) I request that Council directs County staff to remove — or at least put on hold — all actions in the IMP that concern trails or trailheads until the trail plan has been updated. To fail to do so would put the CSD in the position of having an IMP in which its trail and trailhead actions may be based on conflicting policies and competing priorities.
I do not intend to make public comment tonight because I am a far better writer than speaker. It is my hope that my words express my intent with sufficient clarity, and that you will take them under consideration to the same extent as if I were to deliver them in person.
Finally, thank you for your public service. I might not agree with whatever action you take tonight, but I never doubt that each of you make decisions based on what you feel best represents what the community desires or that is in the best interest of our community.