Community Board: City puts dogs before people with parks

Tammy Ballew's dog Bailey plays catch with her owner at the airport park.

It says something about the City of Hollister’s priorities when dogs on the nice side of town get park funding before people on the west side.
While the west side’s city parks have received little attention in comparison with other local parks, as part of $570,000 in spending since July 2014, council members in February allocated $25,000 toward new work at Klauer Park on the southeast side to accommodate an official dog park.
There’s nothing wrong with dogs or dog parks, and it’s great to offer such places where locals and families can take part in positive, enriching activities. In general, the city council is on the right path with its ongoing effort to clean up the parks.
But priorities are priorities, and there’s no excuse for moving ahead with a dog park on one side of town before giving serious attention to city parks on the west side.
Councilwoman Mickie Luna was right to question the progression of park upgrades and demand a presentation at this week’s regular meeting, because facilities such as Tony Aguirre Memorial Park and Calaveras Park deserve more attention, and sooner, than the dogs need a place to run at Klauer Park.
Every area deserves its fair share of nice park offerings, but places with more poverty have an even greater need. So it’s curious, then, why Aguirre and Calaveras parks are at the bottom of the city’s priority list.
Moving forward, it’s only fair that the city start allocating a lot more dollars toward parks on the west side to make up for this injustice.
The Community Insight Board is an independent panel of residents. Views are consensus opinions, but not necessarily unanimous. Members include Jae Eade, Cesar Flores, Frankie Gallagher, Gordon Machado, Jim West and Brenda Weatherly.

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