The City of Santa Barbara leased Las Positas tennis courts to Elings Park for $1 per year. Elings has increased the rates for use of these public courts by about 400%, an action protested by the large majority of the players.
There have been many discussions with Elings without resolution. What’s more, Elings has bypassed numerous requests for costing data on which they based the fees.
In granting the lease, the City appears to have provided no oversight as to the rates to be charged by Elings now or, even more worrisome, in the future. This could have been caused by one of two things, neither of which reflects well on the Parks Department or the City.
1. The City realized that this problem existed and willfully allowed no limit on what Elings could charge now or in the future. Or,
2. The City neglected to consider protecting the public and thus provided no oversight on what Elings might charge.
In the first case, the City is complicit in the huge rate increase, while in the second, it shows a lack of due diligence in their deliberations.
Now it appears quite possible that the city did not even follow the requirements of its own charter in granting the lease.
Unfortunately, the City Council continues to rebuff our many attempts to discuss these and related issues at a Council Meeting. What’s more, they are providing no assistance to help resolve the problem they created.
Please visit laspositastennis.com and click on ‘YOU’ along the top row. There you can view our petition (at last count 448 citizens have signed) and easily launch an email or letter to City Council members to encourage them to cease denying over 400 citizens an open hearing on this issue.