Parks and Rec Commission receives mid-year report; begins planning for next year

During the Parks and Recreation meeting on Nov. 15, Acting Community Service Director Kristen Riesgo provided the mid-year report and addressed commission activities, past and future assignments.

Commissioners addressed the list and hope to tour the city parks to be able to provide feedback on rehabilitation projects and plan more outdoor programs. 

Commissioners also hope to have Pepperdine University students participate more in city events and hope to push forward with the permanent skate park next year.

Riesgo said either the chair or vice chair would need to present the report during the City Council meeting in January 2023. 

For department updates, Recreation Manager Kate Gallo provided the report on projects and events held at city parks.

Projects such as the shade structure at the Malibu Bluffs Park were some of the projects that were completed this year.

Events such as the CineMalibu, Malibu Library Art activities and Halloween events were hosted this year at Malibu Bluffs Park.

The department offers youth and middle school basketball leagues, but there were not enough elementary school kids to build a league. 

Riesgo said the City Council approved the nomination of Richard Lawson and Judy Villablanca as the recipients of the 2022 Jake Kuredjian Citizenship Award and will present the award in the next City Council meeting on Nov. 28. 

Riesgo addressed the Snack Shack at Malibu Bluffs Park and said the facility has zoning restrictions and prohibits refreshment stands and other fixed-location outdoor food vending stands.

Commissioners such as Alicia Peak and Suzanne Guldimann shared their frustrations with the planning process.

“It’s very defeating to me that we can’t make this happen,” Peak said. “It feels like we live in a city that doesn’t want any rec facilities is how I feel. We already don’t have much and we can’t even get a little snack shack that serves burgers and hot dogs — it’s very upsetting to me.” 

In progress and ongoing assignments from the commission included Earth Friendly Management Working Group, Trail Cameras at Legacy Park, Update park signage to enlarge LAD Contact, Emergency Call Boxes and Malibu Bluffs Park Turf Improvements.

For commissioners’ comments, Chair Dane Skophammer asked why they can’t use the cultural center at City Hall for events and Riesgo said it’s being renovated.

“If they can upgrade it, great, and [if] that’s the reason fine, I don’t have a problem with that,” Skophammer said. “There’s almost nowhere in Malibu to hold a small dance recital for little girls.” 

Peak hopes the city can provide more support to host recreational events. 

“It’s not like we have a bunch of options, so it would be nice for the city — we don’t have options,” Peak said. “It’s not like we have a bunch of spaces to rent.” 

The panel hopes to tour city parks in lieu of having a Zoom meeting next month. 

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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