FAIRFIELD — More than 200 people attended a barbecue Thursday at Parkway Gardens – an event praised by participants and city officials as evidence of improvement at the 240-unit condominium development.
“This is so good to see so many people,” Fairfield Police Chief Walt Tibbet said.
The event with hamburgers and hot dogs drew at least twice as many people as a barbecue that took place in March.
Arturo Gallardo, 54, who’s lived at Parkway Gardens for a decade, said residents have faced many problems the past four years.
“This is nice,” he said of the event.
Resident Janice Easton called the turnout amazing and said, “I am thrilled.”
The city of Fairfield joined her legal challenge to conditions at the development. A report prepared this month for the Solano County Superior Court noted mostly absentee landlords had led the property to operate “like a lawless apartment project.” Two people were killed in the parking during a March 7, 2012, gunfight and a man was shot and killed Jan. 3.
Tonia Roberts, outreach pastor at Liberty Church in Fairfield, told the crowd gathered Thursday that job readiness is among programs available for residents.
“Trust me, test me on this,” she said – they are not going away.
Larry Bluford, head of the Christian evangelical ministry The Harvest Unit Gathering Souls – know as Operation THUGS – looked around the gathering and said, “Isn’t this beautiful?”
Liberty Church member Michael Hester, 56, a Fairfield resident, welcomed what he saw.
“It’s an excellent display of love and community,” he said. “We care about Fairfield. We care about our neighborhoods.”
Todd Bertani, senior pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Fairfield and the husband of City Councilwoman Pam Bertani, said of the barbecue, “It’s a great event. It’s bringing the community together.”
“We just need to do this a lot more often,” he said.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.