Friends of Swenson/Save Swenson ~ Mission: By Suzie Bowers
SAVE, Protect, and Improve the Property known as Swenson Golf Course and Park for future generations.
After the City Council Meeting, December 4th, 2017 in which Stockton City Council shared their plans to sell Swenson Park Golf Course and Park for Low Income Housing Development, our group, Friends of Swenson was formed. We consider ourselves a family with our community. We are your neighbors and friends...many of us live here in the neighborhood or grew up in the neighborhood.
Friends of Swenson immediately discussed concepts of forming an assessment district to take over ownership and operation of the property and protect it forever from development or destruction. We reviewed the 70+ page document which was created and engineered and payed for by our City government ($40,000) outlining options for low income housing development of 600-900 units.
We looked at many options, asked for and received counsel, to be sure it was the best situation for all concerned and not to jump in and make the situation worse.
As unveiled at our Friends of Swenson Information Night, March 8th, 2018 at Lincoln High School, our plan is to create a Park District to benefit all the residents in the area, protect property values, protect our kids, keep assessments to the minimum and raise funds through events and sponsorship creating a fun family destination for our community and visitors. A park district would avoid the inevitable increase in taxes , drop in property values and safety and infrastructure issues.
We are talking about the difference between a Park District Assessment of $60-$150/year (will depend on how many houses in the district,) OR a Mello-Roos tax (for development) of approximately $2,500-$3,000 per year, plus taxes to pay for the increase in fire department and police that would be needed. The population in the area is already too dense in an already congested area. We've all seen what happened when Kelley Drive was built!
I personally would like to pay $150/year to keep Swenson Golf Course and Park, than to lose it and pay $2,500+/year...The choice is obvious.
And, with the destruction of this 200+ acre green space, providing oxygen for 14,000 Stockton Residents, a reduction in air quality. This cannot happen. Stockton is already below the national and state average for green space.
We believe this Park District should be run by the people in the district. NOT a City or County appointed board.
We ask our City and County leaders to provide support, which would also solve their budget issues, by donating the property to Friends of Swenson or Swenson Oaks Park District, which would be our new name as discussed at our board meeting. And, to also provide financial support to get the project off the ground and successful for generations to come. This is the ONLY responsible thing to do.
Thank You to Our Board of Directors, (and to all of our neighbors and friends, who have been behind the scenes helping, donating and taking leadership roles, :)
Save Swenson Political Action Committee:
Dion Dalman, President
Tony Mannor, Vice President
Randy Burns, Treasurer
Keith Burgad, Secretary
Friends of Swenson Educational Branch and Community Outreach:
Blair Hake, President
Julie Whitehouse, Treasurer
Suzie Bowers, Secretary
Roger Hahn, Director