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Citizen concerned about park use by outsiders
Matter to return to Ceres City Council

A resident living next to Berry Grove Park suggested last week that the city needs to better monitor the use of parks, citing his concerns about those outside of Ceres using city facilities.

"Time and time again I see outside sports teams from neighboring cities practicing on our parks and to me that's not fair to our local organizations that pay for those fees to maintain our parks," Wes Stamper told the Ceres City Council.

City Manager Toby Wells said there is no formal overseeing of park use and said "it's on a complaint driven process."

"This is the first I've heard of this type of complaint," said Wells, "so we can look into it."

He said the issue becomes muddled when talking about "outside groups" since most are competitive traveling soccer teams that are comprised of Ceres children mixed with children from other communities.

"If they have four team members from Ceres is that a local group or not? So some of those get to be challenging."
"We don't have any formal
rules written on the use of our parks. They are community assets but there are some parks rented so we do balance those."

Mayor Chris Vierra said Stamper had a valid point and said maybe the city could have groups register for use of parks.

The city has complete control over use of Ceres River Bluff Regional Park, which has full soccer fields, and Costa Fields baseball complex at Smyrna Park.

Councilman Bret Durossette remembered the city dealing with the issue in 2009 or 2010 when it came to use by Ceres Youth Baseball and Softball groups. He said those groups have card that shows they can use school district facilities.

Vierra shut down the discussion, saying it needs to be brought back at a later meeting where it's on the agenda to legally take action. He suggested city staff coming up with possible solutions.