Budget cuts eliminate skate park supervisors
by SEBASTIAN RUIZ
Jan 08, 2009 | 1223 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The city’s five skate parks, including the site at Robb Field on Bacon Street in Ocean Beach, will remain unsupervised indefinitely because of city budget cuts, according to statement from the office of Mayor Jerry Sanders.

It costs the city about $282,571 a year to pay staff to supervise the parks in the face of an estimated $53 million budget shortfall. The city has also stopped charging park entry fees, which previously helped cover some of the cost of staff, said Rachel Laing, a spokeswoman for Sanders’ office.

But with no supervisors how will the city enforce its own health and safety rules?

“We’re going to enforce the rules the same way we’ve always enforced them. People are on their honor and police will do spot checks,” Laing said.

Park users should call the nearest recreation center to report any problems, she said.

Aside from the facility at Robb Field Recreation Center, other skate parks eliminating supervisor positions include:

Laing said the city posts the following rules at the skate parks:

• All skaters must wear protective gear, including a helmet, shirt, knee/elbow pads.

• Spectators are not allowed inside the park.

• Contests are not permitted.

• Skating equipment must be in good condition and not damage the facility.

• Bikes and other sporting equipment are prohibited.

• Children younger than 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

• Food, smoking, alcohol and tobacco are prohibited.

• Profanity and abusive language are prohibited.

Clay Bingham ,a Deputy Director with the city’s Park and Recreation Department, said the city followed successful models of skate parks throughout southern California including skate parks in Poway, Carlsbad and Chula Vista. He added that as long as the rules are posted, it falls on the individual responsibility of parents and park users to protect themselves from injury.

“It’s an individual and parental responsibility issue…there are kids and parents around the city who play with balls and bats and those can be a danger,” Bingham said “We all accept that risk when we do.”

The skate parks are open from about 10 a.m. to dusk.
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