Breitlow neighbors again criticize project at School Board meeting

District will create two new baseball diamonds

June 11, 2013

The fallout from plans to build new baseball diamonds at Brietlow Field continued at Monday night's School Board meeting.

Two residents of the neighborhood denounced the plan in angry speeches.

Susan Schwartz of North 122nd Street asked board members how many of them lived on the streets surrounding the park.

When it was clear no one did, she said, "You should all be ashamed of yourselves for not consulting more with the residents that live directly around this field to find out exactly how much traffic there actually is already, and with this new field it's going to triple."

Schwartz said there was insufficient parking, and she had witnessed near collisions several times in just one morning.

She also mourned the loss of "green space" at the park.

"I don't think you guys took enough time in regards to this update for public safety," she said. "I think that the $1.3 million that you're going to spend on the field could've been better spent on security for the schools."

The project is expected to cost $1.25 million.

John Kastl of Crestview Court spoke against the project three separate times at Monday's meeting. Citing minutes from a 1982 meeting, he said the current board was breaking promises made then to preserve the space for recreational use.

"You are depriving us of our community's recreational use," he said.

He said there were no other parks in the area.

"We, in the Fisher Woods community, have no park area, and you are taking what little bit that we have, and was promised to us, away from us."

Kastl noted that a budget presentation at the meeting did not mention the Breitlow project.

"There's no way in listening or reviewing that report, that any taxpayer would have any idea that you're talking about spending $1.3 million to butcher this recreational area, and I'm ashamed and embarrassed for you," he said. "I think it's deliberate deception."

John Mack, the district's director of business services, said the Breitlow project was included in the capital expenditures category.

Both Schwartz and Kastl appeared in opposition to the project at an April meeting of the city's Plan Commission.


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