Long looked at as punks who are a hazard to society, in Watsonville on Tuesday evening if the City Council approves city ordinance changes to accommodate responsible skaters.
Skateboards, in-line skates and roller skates are banned from all city parks except the Skate Park at , according to laws that were approved in 1976 and 2001.
But Parks and Recreation Department staff reported that the skating facility is often crowded. It's also a long way from a lot of Watsonville neighborhoods, meaning it's a challenge for kids to get across town to the lone skate park in the city.
Plus skateboards aren't just toys anymore. They're a means of transportation or exercise for some.
Don't plan to shred the benches in your local park, but if the Watsonville City Council approves the changes, people will be allowed to skate through parks so long as they have on.
According to the staff report, this brings Watsonville in-line with other Central Coast cities.
New Council Start Time?
According to the staff report prepared by City Manager Carlos Palacios, the new proposed schedule would still keep City Council meetings to evening hours, when the majority of the public have finished the work day, but would start an hour earlier. In general, with this schedule the City Council should be able to end meetings by 9 or 10 in the evening.
In recent months, some city council business has stretched past 10 p.m. and, often, votes on significant issues occur long after the audience has left the council chambers. For example, several people who came to weigh in on the city's last month left before the agenda item was discussed because it got too late.
City Council Member Emilio Martinez has already come out against the change in his blog, the Watsonville Fishing Report.
"Is City Manager Palacios attempting to keep you in the dark and quiet? Hopefully all of you will attend tomorrow’s city council meeting at 6:30 and let Palacios know that your voice should not be silenced and that you want to be well informed because after all YOU are the BOSS," Martinez wrote.
Patch blogger itsmecissy is also against the change.
In Other Business
The city council is expected to give final approval to that plastic bag ban and also changes to how e-waste is disposed of in the city. Neighborhood Services, a Parks Department program, would like relocate to 231 Union St. to target on the neighborhoods from Palm Avenue to Riverside Drive.
The Watsonville City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers, fourth floor of the Civic Plaza, 275 Main St.