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Terance Frazier stepping in for parks with assist by Mayor's husband

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Al Radka Park is among Fresno’s newer parks.

The 14-acre site is located on Belmont Avenue, about a quarter-mile east of Clovis Avenue. There’s a lot of new growth out that way. Ed Kashian’s proposed Fancher Creek development (houses, apartments, retail, offices, business park) is within easy walking distance of Al Radka.

Old timers remember Al Radka the man as both a beloved radio/TV personality and one of the best football players in Fresno State history.

The two-year City Hall-Central Cal Baseball Academy (CCBA) deal goes down like this.

CCBA will:

  • Pay $2,000 per year as a reservation fee for the fields. The money will be spent on maintenance at Al Radka.
  • Provide an average of 17 volunteer hours per month to the park. In short, CCBA is adopting Al Radka Park. The city estimates the economic value of this work over the two years to be $6,250 (408 hours at $15.32 per hour).
  • Perform Adopt-a-Park chores such as edging, weeding, low-limb pruning, graffiti removal and trash pickup.
  • Make sure the dugouts have shade tarps and the spectators have seating. Total estimated value of these additions: $13,000.
  • Drag and chalk the baseball fields every day and reseed the baseball fields grass areas biannually.
  • Repair the dugouts, fill the outfield holes, aerate the fields, paint/repair backstops, rebuild the pitcher’s mounds.
  • Provide baseball academy scholarships to underprivileged children at a value of $30,000 per year.

A staff report said the total estimated value of CCBA’s investment is more than $80,000.

In return, the city guarantees that CCBA gets priority use of Al Radka’s baseball fields. Anyone else who wants to use the fields must get the Parks Department’s OK. This is “to ensure that there are no CCBA scheduled events during the time that another group wishes to use the baseball fields,” the report said.

CCBA’s maintenance work “will exceed the current service standards and improve the overall quality of the facility,” the report said.

The deal runs from Dec. 17, 2015 through Dec. 16, 2017.

The council’s Jan. 7 approval of the Central Cal contract was put on the consent calendar. That meant the item would be approved with a bunch of other items in a single voice vote unless a council member asked to debate this particular item.

No council member asked.

George Hostetter is The Sun’s Fresno Civic contributor – covering the City of Fresno, County of Fresno, and Fresno Council of Governments.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for the column George. You are absolutely right to be concerned about a potential conflict of interest in this situation. Any outsider looking at something like this involving the Mayor’s husband would think there was shenanigans.

    That being said, I know both Mr. Frazier and Mr. Swearengin. I can say with as much certainty as I have that this is a from the heart project for both. I have not met or know two better people in my life. I know Terrance and Paul are community based individuals that I would have no question trusting with my own kids and property. I am envious of both with respect to their honesty and sincerity. I can only hope and pray to be considered their peer. I know that sounds like lofty praise, but like I said I know them both. I have seen them in situations where doing the “right thing” was the only thing considered. This opportunity is great for Fresno youth. Terrance has proved his commitment to Fresno 100 times over. He walks the walk in all that I have seen him do.

    You are right to ask the questions. The lost art of journalism depends on you doing so. Shining a light on the project should not be an issue.

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