The following are the most important issues facing the East Bay Regional Park District:

Long term: Environmental sustainability. Mission Peak issues may be a precursor of similar very difficult issues for the District arising over the long term. The issue is how to maintain access and continue to encourage park usage when the volume and aggressiveness of usage become significant environmental problems. The District is good at this balancing, as I point out. Sensitive lands/habitats are protected. But what happens when general park utilization becomes environmentally damaging?

Medium term: Successful implementation of the 2013 Master Plan. This includes the Park District’s plans for continued acquisitions and openings of parklands and trails in eastern Contra Costa County and the promotion of the use of these lands for the benefit of the inner city youth and general populations of western Alameda and Contra Costa. The incredibly successful leveraging of the District and the ECC Habitat Conservancy and Save Mt. Diablo resources toward continued enhancement of the park, open space, and recreation access expansion in East County should be continued. I believe programs such as camperships and greater family campground facilities in northern Contra Costa can counter criticism aimed at EBRPD acquisitions of eastern lands some years ago.

Shorter term: Successful implementation of the 2017 General Manager’s Budget District – Wide Performance Measures. The General Manager’s Message, accompanying the 2017 Budget, was recently approved by the PAC with my affirmative vote. It identified eight District performance goals derived from the 2013 Master Plan. All are important goals. Improving access to parklands and outreach to under-represented groups, along with attracting and retaining a workforce of excellence, both stand out for me. I would also add that preparing for a successful effort to renew the Measure CC parcel tax should be a priority, and I know that the Board and management are pursuing this.