The hourly use fee has also been reduced to $8 per day, the same fee charged at courts operated by the City of Santa Barbara.
For the past five months, the Foundation has met continually with a group of Las Positas tennis members to discuss concerns about fee increases and management of the courts. In 2010, due to cuts in the City’s Park and Recreation budget, the City signed a lease with Elings Park Foundation to manage and restore the Las Positas Tennis Facility. Elings took on a $1.1 million dollar liability from the City to renovate the tired tennis facility and the annual financial burden to keep the facility open for the public.
Elings Park is a not-for-profit foundation managed by volunteers from the community. Since Elings is not supported by tax dollars, the Park operates on user fees, programs, and donations.
Many tennis members have expressed appreciation of our fee reductions and thanked us for our efforts to address their concerns. However, Elings Park Foundation has been informed that a group of tennis players plan further protests in early January. This group has repeatedly demanded that Elings cut operational expenses as a means to lower fees for their recreational use. Their proposal is based on reducing the wages of our hard working staff below what the Foundation believes to be a fair living wage in Santa Barbara and eliminating their retirement benefits. This is unacceptable to the Foundation.
Elings Park Foundation remains dedicated to addressing the significant deferred maintenance necessary to restore this dilapidated community facility. Moreover, we remain committed to increasing tennis programming for Santa Barbara’s youth and ensuring everyone in the community feels welcome at the facility. It is our sincere hope these few individuals will change course and decide to work with us in making a positive contribution to the Santa Barbara community.
About Elings Park
More than 40 years ago, the founders of Elings Park had a unique vision for a spectacular site: to provide recreational facilities in an exceptional setting for the benefit of all citizens of the Santa Barbara area. As part of their plan, they insisted the park would be created, maintained, and operated without taxpayer dollars. The Elings Park Foundation now takes on that role.
From the beginning in 1965, park founders—under the leadership of Jerry Harwin—knew this spot, halfway between Goleta and Carpinteria, would be ideal for the recreational needs of a highly active community. Indeed, the park provides a place for sports and athletic endeavors for people of all ages, from all neighborhoods, and from all walks of life. It also serves as a model for other communities, demonstrating that a nonprofit foundation can operate an extraordinary park with earned revenue and donations and without reliance on government funds.