Editorial, Parkway Governance

Today’s editorial from the Bee about Parkway governance failure is aptly described as the “perfect trifecta of trip-ups for Sacramento County.”

For those who have been following the slowly slipping failure of Parkway governance for the years it has been sadly unwinding, the new leadership direction apparently being provided by three of the Supervisors is welcome indeed.

A Joint Powers Authority is obviously the initial step to sound governance, followed by eventual management of the Parkway by a nonprofit, successfully modeled by the Sacramento Zoo and other large urban parks such as Central Park.

Rancho Cordova’s tapping of state assistance is entirely appropriate as it is the larger legislative mandate behind the Parkway Plan, correctly and timely updated, which is designed to give it gravitas.

We would someday like to see even larger recognition of the importance of the Parkway through designation as a National Heritage Area, which the natural heart of our community certainly is.

Here is an excerpt from the editorial.

Editorial: Parkway protocol
County, Rancho need to talk, make peace
Published 2:15 am PST Monday, March 27, 2006


It’s a perfect trifecta of trip-ups for Sacramento County. Disgruntled over its diminishing importance as three new cities sprouted in recent years, the county has found itself fighting with the three municipalities at one time or another. The first beef was with Citrus Heights, which involved fights over city payments to the county. The second was with cantankerous Elk Grove (battlefronts galore). And now the honeymoon is officially over with Rancho Cordova.

A nasty fight has erupted over control of the American River Parkway. Peace might break out. That chance is worth exploring before pious chest-pounding reaches thunderous levels.

The American River Parkway is a 4,000-acre jewel long maintained by the county. The county and the city of Sacramento, along with the state, govern the parkway through a master plan adjusted every two decades or so. The system worked fine until a new city, Rancho Cordova, sprouted alongside the river. The new city has a rightful stake in the parkway’s future but no legal say.

Tempers flared recently when Rancho Cordova City Councilwoman Linda Budge encouraged state Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks, to find a legislative solution. SB 1776 would give Rancho Cordova authority to change the parkway plan. Both in substance and in style, SB 1776 has prompted a county backlash.

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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