The board of Portland Parks and Recreation has joined some advocates for affordable housing in opposing the city's deal with Merritt Paulson to bring minor league baseball to Lents Park.
In a strongly worded letter
[PDF], members of the parks bureau board write:
The use of Lents Park for the Beavers baseball complex would represent a sea-change for Portland. If we proceed, we will dismantle a highly active community park in parks-deficient outer southeast Portland. To do this flies in the face of our reputation as a world-class parks city, and puts us on the slippery slope of continuing to use public park lands for private development when other "opportunities" arise.
So far, Commissioner Randy Leonard
appears undeterred. At a public meeting in Lents on May 12, Leonard told Lents residents he wouldn't back down from the deal. "I have yet to be dissuaded from pushing this option because of opposition," Leonard said.