In 1999, I was appointed to the Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission and served for about 12 1/2 years, when I was termed out in 2011. When I first joined the Commission, the common theme from the Commission and the public was that Santa Monica lacks park space and playing fields and this continued throughout my 12 1/2 years. During my time on the Commission we developed the original Airport Park, Virginia Avenue Park and Euclid Park and started the design of Tongva Park.
For a Recreation and Parks Commission, that was the design of a lot of parks, but for a city like Santa Monica, it did little to raise the acres of park space per 1000 residents. At about 1.45 acres of park space per 1000 residents we are well below many California cities, the county and the national average by many many acres.
I have now been termed out for about 4 1/2 years and little has changed when it comes to developing open space and parks in Santa Monica. That can all change if people get behind the movement to close the Santa Monica Airport and turn it into open space and wonderful parkland and playing fields.
Neil Carrey, former Chair and member of the Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission