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Brand New Board

Majority Now Students


Monday, January 21, 2013

It’s 2013, and the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District has a new board. Boardmembers started to set the tone for their tenure during the newly constituted board’s first meeting, in December. They will be discussing the IV Skate Park, taking a look at the budget, and monitoring progress toward the building of a new Teen Center in Estero Park.

Four out of the five members of the board, Alex Rodriguez, Jeff Bessmer, Pegeen Soutar, and Sawyeh Maghsoodloo, are newly-elected. Leif Dreizler is the only member who remained on the board after the November elections.

Students comprise the new board majority. Rodriguez, Maghsoodloo, and Dreizler are students. Soutar and Bessmer are community members. For Soutar, being on the IVRPD board is not a novel experience: She served as a board director from 1996-2004.

Cat Neushul

The New and Improved Teen Center: There are plans in the works that will bring about some important changes in the community. One of the most noteworthy is the creation of a permanent Teen Center in Estero Park. At this time, the Teen Center is housed in a run-down portable structure. The board has discussed a conceptual design for a 3,000-square-foot facility. In an upcoming meeting, IVRPD General Manager Rodney Gould will give the board an update on the current progress of the project. In a relatively short period of time, the Teen Center could go from an eyesore to a cool and inviting hang out for teens – a dream come true for both the teens and the community.

Revamping the Stage at Anisq’Oyo Park: There are also plans to rebuild the Anisq’Oyo Park stage, which was damaged after a fire was lit beneath its wooden floorboards. To prevent this from occurring again, the new stage is going to be constructed from concrete with a colored, stamped top. Plans for the stage have been submitted to the Santa Barbara County building department for permitting, and Gould will also report back to the board on that project’s progress.

Keep on the lookout for a potential fundraiser for the stage as well. Gould is working with New Noise to plan a benefit concert at the park in February. The concert would feature two high school bands, one college band, and one touring retro band. Admission would be free, and donations would be accepted.

Get Involved: The IVRPD is looking for people to serve on three committees: personnel, finance, and policy. The deadline for applications is February 1, 2013. It can be an interesting and rewarding assignment, knowing that you are helping to guide and shape the IV community.

The Little Things:While it may not always be easy to see, IVRPD employees are out and about beautifying the community on a regular basis. You may not notice a trimmed bush, or that an ice plant has been removed from a walkway, but it’s the little things that count. See if you can spot General Manager Gould and park district workers hauling away debris, installing fences, and making sure that the area is maintained.

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