City Commissioner Randy Leonard has hit back at Nick Fish's letter on baseball in a response to a constituent. Neighborhood activist Don MacGillivray cc'd Leonard on his response to Fish's letter this afternoon:
I strongly agree with you. I am very unhappy with the fast tracking, behind the scenes deal making that this proposal is generating. I believe in PLANNING and community process. Portland has many important needs for Portland and it is wrong for a out of town, fly by night entrepreneur to arrive with a fast deal that will be put ahead of so many other more important goals and projects.
Thank you for the message below. It shows you are working in the interest of the majority of Portland's citizens.
Leonard replied to MacGillivray with the following:
Thank you, Don, for including me in your response to Commissioner Fish.
I do need to take exception to a couple of points, however, in both Commissioner Fish’s email and your response.
While you write that you believe in "planning and community process", you may not be aware that the proposal to locate AAA baseball in Lents was part of the work product considered by a citizen task force that began meeting last fall that concluded its work this past March.
Representatives from the entire community, including the Lents neighborhood, were on the task force including the Chair of the Parks Board, Keith Thomajan, and Mike Houck, a member of the Parks Board and protector and advocate of open spaces.
The task force did recommend the siting of the AAA stadium at either the Rose Quarter or Lents Park, based on certain conditions being met. At Lents the recommendation specifically called for replacing any park land displaced by the AAA stadium, a condition that both Mayor Adams and I support.
The task force voted unanimously for the recommendations including the Lents neighborhood representative along with Keith Thomajan and Mike Houck.
Additionally, the Lents Urban Renewal Advisory Committee, made up of residents and business owners in Lents, has had numerous discussions and meetings regarding siting a AAA stadium in Lents Park.
I am disappointed that Commissioner Fish continues to incorrectly suggest that up to “16” acres is proposed for building a AAA stadium in Lents Park. In fact, there is currently a stadium in Lents Park that is the foot print for the proposed stadium. Additionally, if built, the new stadium would not be for “private use” but would, rather, be a publicly owned facility that the Beavers would play in and would host events for the Lents community and all other Portland neighborhoods year around.
I have approached this issue with the best interests of our entire community as my only goal. I have not tried to exploit our citizen’s fears but have attempted to appeal to their aspirations in proposing that Lents be the site of a new AAA stadium.
Although I have learned that it is much easier and less risky to be against something in politics rather than for something, I hope you would encourage the debate on both sides to be fair and factual as the discussion continues. In my view, having a debate that does not rely on misleading information or hyperbole but rather sticks to the facts is the true test of our faith in Portlander's judgment.
Thank you for your consistent advocacy for our neighborhoods, Don.