A new scandal appears to be boiling over in the City of Aliso Viejo, which has a population of 47,823, according to the 2010 census. Council Member Phil Tsunoda, a Democrat and career government bureaucrat, got in hot water recently when he used city funds to launch a website that should not have been funded by the City. Now he appears to be advocating for the City of Aliso Viejo to take over a park, so as to cater to Aliso Viejo Little League parents.
The Aliso Viejo City Council directed staff at their last meeting to look for possible solutions to a problem that has developed due to an apparent lack of parking spaces at Woodfield Park.
“The discussion came after the Little League and the Aliso Viejo Community Association, which runs the park, butted heads two months ago. More than a dozen league members stormed out of a Feb. 11 meeting with the AVCA board because the board would not authorize 26 proposed parking spaces at Woodfield Park, 26800 Woodfield Drive, where the league plays baseball games,” according to the O.C. Register.
To understand this issue you have to consider that the City of Aliso Viejo is both a City and a master planned community. As such, some services are provided by the City, and other services are provided by the Aliso Viejo Community Association, according to the City of Aliso Viejo’s website.
A majority of the City’s funding comes from property taxes and sales taxes. These revenues pay for the day-to-day operations of the City.
The City of Aliso Viejo is responsible for providing services such as police protection, fire safety, planning, building and safety, and public works are all responsibilities of the City.”
The Aliso Viejo Community Association (AVCA) is responsible for common area maintenance including parks, greenbelts, parkways and slopes.
The Aliso Viejo Little League’s President, Susan Booth, told the AVCA board in February that the Little League would pay for fencing and to mark the parking spots behind Field 6 to help alleviate sparse parking on busy game days. With about 770 players for the 2013 season, league members had hoped AVCA would give them permission for the parking places before opening day Feb. 23, Booth said, according to the O.C. Register.
AVCA’s board of directors has agreed to spend $3,500 for a parking analysis at Woodfield Park. That is rather generous and they are right to do this before approving any new parking spaces. There is considerable liability that has to be reviewed and that is precisely what they are doing.
Aliso Viejo’s Mayor, Carmen Cave, has proposed that the city manage Woodfield Park instead of AVCA by “exercising an irrevocable offer of dedication on the park.” That sounds like eminent domain.
The bottom line for the people of Aliso Viejo is that the actions of their City Council could lead to the City having to absorb the cost of insuring and maintaining fields that are currently well managed by the AVCA. Who is going to pay for all of this? Aliso Viejo’s residents are already paying a lot in taxes and assessments. Do they really want to add to their burden?
Currently, AVCA is liable for activity around the park. But condoning this behavior puts them at greater risk, according to AVCA President Bill Conley, who, according to the O.C. Register, said at a recent board meeting that “a longer-term solution needs to be put in place in order to protect everyone on in the community, not just “a small special interest group within the community.” Conley is right and Tsunoda and Cave appear to be overreaching.