OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Oakland A’s are giving city officials another opportunity to help rehab a poorly cared for Little League field in North Oakland.
The team was willing to pitch in $150,000 to refurbish one of the fields at Bushrod Park. But they encountered several roadblocks from city officials – from officials asking whether there was enough money to maintain the field, to permitting questions, to what type of equipment should be used for maintenance.
Because of all these issues, the A’s withdrew its grant offer, deciding instead to offer the donation to the city of Richmond.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who is facing reelection, has received a deluge of criticism for the red tape surrounding restoration of the field, including from San Francisco Human Services Director Trent Rhorer.
Rhorer lives in Oakland and has coached in the city’s Little League program for years. He sent a scathing letter to Quan and Oakland Parks and Recreation Director Audree Jones-Taylor.
“In my letter to the mayor and to the parks director, I said, look I understand bureaucracy and red tape, dealing with labor unions and dealing with contracting issues,” he said. “But when you have an opportunity, a $150,000 gift, you need to take advantage of it. You need to break through all those barriers that we face everyday at our jobs in the highest levels of city government and get it done.”
For their part, the A’s have offered the city of Oakland a second chance, as long as the project is completed without the red tape from before.
You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.