Councilwoman Kell acknowledged that the ultimate form of the measure "is still fluid" and depends on how the Council wishes to proceed.
[LBReport.com note: A Council-approved "ballot measure" could take many forms. It can be a Charter Amendment (changing the city's constitution and clearly binding future Councils unless changed by a vote of the people), or a Municipal Code provision (the City Attorney will likely be asked if a Muni Code section enacted by a vote of the people can be changed by a future Council) or an advisory referendum (asking voters' opinion but not binding the Council.]
As acknowledged by Councilwoman Kell, the verbiage of exactly what is a "recreational use" has yet to be debated and decided. Does it include uses like YMCA's, day nurseries, or libraries? Should there be a square footage limit?
However, Councilwoman Kell made clear she does not want further attempts to take park land for non-recreational purposes for 911 centers, police stations or the like, particularly after the divisive Scherer Park hearing. "I think enough is enough," she said.
Councilwoman Kell added, "In the end, I think the Council has to take a stand. And if they can't decide it, then let the public tell us." She noted, "I think it's still a little fluid as to how it's going to go."
During the Scherer Park hearing, Councilman (and Mayoral candidate) Ray Grabinski (the sole "no" vote on expanding and making permanent a police station in the park) said he expected park supporters would gather signatures for a ballot measure protecting park land...and he'd support it.
In August last year, after the deadline passed for putting a park protective measure on the November, 2000 ballot, Councilman Grabinski publicly told Ann Cantrell a charter amendment wasn't going to happen at that time, then proposed a lesser Muni Code measure he called "parks in perpetuity."
Grabinski's measure, discussed at field hearings held by a Council committee that included Councilmembers Grabinski and Kell, would give residents more opportunities to be heard if City Hall were (again) to propose taking park land.
In contrast, Councilwoman Kell's proposal seems intended flatly to prohibit taking park land for non-recreational purposes.
The verbatim text of Councilwoman Kell's agendizing memorandum to the Mayor and Council is:
I ask the City Council's support for a motion to request the City Attorney's office prepare a ballot measure for the next citywide election. The purpose of the ballot measure would be to decide if all future building on City park property only be allowed if it were deemed to be for recreational use.