Fairfield playgrounds for children, accompanying adults, council decides

By From page A3 | October 02, 2013

FAIRFIELD — A measure to make playgrounds in Fairfield city parks exclusively for children and the adults accompanying them won City Council approval Tuesday, along with support from speakers who said the ordinance is a step toward providing safer sites for youth baseball.

Raul Anaya, a coach for North Bay Pony Baseball, said the restroom at Lee Bell Park poses problems.

“I feel unsafe when I’m there,” he said. “You can imagine how the kids feel.”

Councilwoman Pam Bertani said Fairfield is a community that cares about homeless people and provides food pantries, Mission Solano and other services. But she said the homeless population has almost commandeered Lee Bell Park at Union Avenue and Travis Boulevard, where children are afraid to use restrooms Bertani described as dangerous.

Councilman John Mraz said he also has empathy for the homeless, but cited numerous fires he said they’ve started in the city.

“We’re giving them everything and they’re doing nothing,” Mraz said.

Bill Maher of the North Bay Pony Baseball called the council-approved ordinance a first step in cleaning up the park. The Rev. Todd Bertani of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church said the city measure will create a needed boundary in parks for their use by families.

Signs will be installed at playground parks throughout the city, starting with Lee Bell Park along with Allan Witt Park on West Texas Street. Those two parks are where the city has heard the most concerns, according to the city.

The city could remove people from playground areas if they violate the proposed ordinance. An administrative citation for an infraction could be issued. Fines for a first offense are $100.

In a separate action, the council approved a $39,625 contract with an Oakland public relations firm to promote economic development in Fairfield. The Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District will contribute $7,212 toward the contract with the Placemaking Group for work that includes branding the benefits of the city’s water and sewer districts to business.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


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