FAIRFIELD — An account of the three homicides at the Parkway Gardens condominium complex – and a report that the property operates “like a lawless apartment project” with mostly absentee landlords – preceded Solano County Superior Court Judge Paul Beeman stating Friday that he wants problems addressed while also praising progress at the site.
One death is too many, said Beeman, who spoke about the three most-recent violent homicides at the 240-unit development in Fairfield.
“It sounds like Vallejo,” he said in court. “And I can say that because that’s where I live.”
A man was shot and killed Jan. 3 at the Fairfield development and two people were killed in a parking lot during a March 7, 2012, gunfight.
The judge said in court of Parkway Gardens: “It sounds like you’re making significant progress.”
“But I want more,” Beeman said.
He spoke Friday after Ben McGrew, appointed as receiver to manage Parkway Gardens, said some residents are very involved but absentee ownership of units leads to the lawless apartment project status.
The judge praised McGrew along with Parkway Gardens residents Janice Eaton and Brad Huffman, who appeared Friday in court for the hearing.
“You’re working together to solve a problem,” Beeman said.
That’s how things should be, the judged said, but look around.
“It frequently does not occur,” he said. “So, thank you very much. I appreciate what you’ve done.”
McGrew said after the court hearing that the city has been phenomenal in its efforts with Parkway Gardens and noted Police Chief Walt Tibbet has sent him a text message on a Sunday night about a matter for review Monday.
“That’s the pace this city works at,” McGrew said.
Huffman said as a community volunteer he’s never seen a city as involved as Fairfield.
“It’s an overwhelming positive response,” he said.
Judge Beeman in court told attorney Toussaint Bailey, representing Fairfield, that Bailey should tell Mayor Harry Price to attend all meetings that involve Parkway Gardens.
Bailey said after the court hearing that the judge and mayor know one another.
“It’s all in fun,” the attorney said.
Price said in a phone interview after the court hearing that Beeman asked the mayor to swear him in as judge. The mayor said he and Beeman served as planning commissioners for the cities of Fairfield and Vallejo at the same time.
Price said he’s often been to Parkway Gardens and is impressed by the improvement.
“It’s turning around,” he said.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]