Community Editorial: Anaheim Needs Better Budget Priorities

In reviewing Anaheim’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year following an article in Voice of OC, I was quite struck by the prioritizing of the Tennis Center for 2013-14 over Ponderosa Park, which is slated for budgeting and presumed construction in 2015-16.

Let me first say that the $6.4 million proposed budget for the Anaheim Tennis Center seems quite a hefty and immediate investment that does not seem to have an urgent need given the Anaheim Community Foundation’s commissioned Youth Report released this past February.

This is not to say the Anaheim Tennis Center is not a worthwhile project. It just seems that as we reinvest in our city, let’s start with the areas in greatest needs as guided by the data cited in the ACF Youth Report and your own stated principles.

While I do support having a tennis center in a general sense, it seems that in the immediacy of what our overall needs are, such funds can be used in other neighborhoods that struggle to have resources and activities in safe, secure environments.

Indeed, my children have participated in the Tennis Center at a cost, and I am confident that the facilities are not in desperate need of a $6.4-million tuneup as our other neighborhoods seem to be at this time.

As such, I’m calling on City Council members to please share your thoughts on why the Anaheim Tennis Center would be slated for immediate funding in 2013-2014, yet Ponderosa Park, which is a neighborhood in desperate need of support, would be slated for funding in 2015-2016?

This seems out of step with the urgency of need in Anaheim, and since both projects are listed as coming from the same funds — Platinum Triangle Fees — I would hope that council members would change this budget item and put in Ponderosa Park for funding in 2013-2014.

I believe strongly that we all stand to benefit by prioritizing public budgets in a way that serves immediate needs.

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