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Cleaning of tennis courts cut four years ago??!!

Original post made by Tennis Buff, Greenmeadow, on Jul 10, 2008

I found out from the city that regular cleaning of tennis courts was cut from the budget four years ago. How can this be? I play frequently on Cubberley and Mitchell Park courts and have noticed a heavy layer of dirt, pollen and tree droppings. The court surface is pretty slick due to all the dirt. I find myself slipping a lot during points. Balls that end up at the back fence are totally covered in pollen and tree droppings -- yuk! My friend from Mountain View says their public courts are cleaned every two weeks. It's hard to believe Palo Alto isn't at least cleaning the courts once per month! Has anyone else noticed how dirty Palo Alto's public courts are? How can we advocate to get the courts cleaned again?

Comments (25)

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2008 at 1:21 pm

I actually thought that the tennis players here had strong political clout, at least they did when Terman was being re-opened and also when the library bond had its last go around.

I hope that you get involved with the active ones and that you can get this sorted. My kids play tennis, but I have never heard them complain about the courts.

So we will see if any get roused by this. Good luck.


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Posted by mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 10, 2008 at 4:42 pm



Why dont you volunteer to clean them yourself as it is you who gets the benefit?


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 10, 2008 at 8:41 pm

This seems like a reasonable request to maintain city tennis courts!


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Posted by Susan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 10, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Palo Alto could end its $1M subsidy of Palo Alto Childrens' Theatre (PACT), and distribute this money to provide normal services to all the other youth and adult users of our public venues.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Web Link


This page shows the approval of some cost cutting measures including reducing the cleaning of tennis courts from twice monthly to once monthly.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 10, 2008 at 9:24 pm

I also note that our friend Paul Losch was absent from this meeting, maybe Paul you can clarify some of this for us.


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Posted by Regular walker
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2008 at 6:15 am

I was walking by the Mitchell Park tennis courts the other day and they were being cleaned by someone; he looked like a City worker not a tennis player so they are being cleaned.


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Posted by Jenny
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2008 at 6:27 am

"Tennis court cleaning will be reduced from twice monthly cleaning to single cleaning using air blowers only to clean the City and school district tennis courts."

The tennis courts are no longer being hosed down - we need to save water. But, aren't they hosed down with recycled water from the sewage treatment plant?

Paul Losch, we need some help!!!!


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Posted by Enough-Is-Enough
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2008 at 6:55 pm

Since only tennis players benefit from the tennis courts -- it's time for the tennis players to set up a volunteer committee to take on some of the maintenance requirements of these courts--rather than expecting the taxpayers to do pay for their entertainment.


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Posted by Eric
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 11, 2008 at 8:48 pm

How about Palo Alto tennis players starting a volunteer organization to raise money like "The Friends of the Library" or "The Friends of the Children's Theater." How about a "Friends of Tennis" to raise money for tennis court maintenance and upkeep. This would greatly reduce tennis players continually asking for hand outs from Palo Alto tax payers for tennis court upkeep.


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Posted by Tennis Buff
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 11, 2008 at 10:14 pm

I don't see why maintaining the tennis courts is any different from maintaining the rest of our parks, watering the park lawns, trimming park bushes and trees, etc. The tennis courts are a public resource for all Palo Altans and it's a resource that promotes good health. A lot of kids are learning tennis this summer through PAUSD and the Rec Dept. The tennis courts in our city provide valuable recreation for both young and old. However, the city is not cleaning the courts anymore and that is a real shame, particularly when other cities (like Mountain View) provide this service.


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Posted by PA Politics
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jul 12, 2008 at 3:53 am

"How about Palo Alto tennis players starting a volunteer organization to raise money like "The Friends of the Library" or "The Friends of the Children's Theater." How about a "Friends of Tennis" to raise money for tennis court maintenance and upkeep. This would greatly reduce tennis players continually asking for hand outs from Palo Alto tax payers for tennis court upkeep."

Ah ha... then we can embezzle money. Hurray.


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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 12, 2008 at 10:37 am

I saw the web link for the minutes from 2002 of the Parks Commission. I was not on the Commission in 2002, so I think the date is incorrect, most likely it is 2004. I do from time to time miss our monthly meetings, I honestly cannot recall my reason for missing this one, but my mother had died just a few weeks before, so I may have been dealing with my feeble father and moving his household.

More to the point--cutbacks on maintenance of facilities in the parks and recreation facilities:

This has been one of the places where the City has attempted to save money in recent years, with demands on a decreasing revenue stream and escalating costs for all services. The consequences of such choices sometimes are not felt right away, but it may be that the results of reducing the tennis court maintenance now is starting to be felt. In some ways, this may be no different than deferring maintenance on storm drains, street repairs, libraries, public safety buildings, albeit at a lower level of magnitude.

This kind of issue can lead to a philosophical discussion at one level and to a pragmatic conversation at another. To be candid, I don't see resources that are available for the City's Community Services Department leading to increasing or returning to earlier tennis maintenance practices at this point.

I will not get sucked into discussions about other community institutions and how they are supported, but this may be a matter where those who are the users should be thinking about how they can work with the City to achieve their objectives, absent budget that may have been available in different times, but is not likely to be there again in the foreseeable future.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2008 at 3:20 pm

We can afford Destination Palo Alto, but when the visitors get here, they find that we can't afford to keep our tennis courts clean for them to use!!


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Posted by Paul
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 12, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Maybe the new Climate Change Coordinator should clean the tennis courts since there doesn't seem to be any real work for him/her to do.


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Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2008 at 5:35 pm

Grab a broom!


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Posted by Global crisis
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 12, 2008 at 7:03 pm

If the city is going to clean the courts, some form of gas-powered transportation will be required. That could likely be the straw that breaks the camel's back - plunging Palo Alto (and perhaps the rest of the world) into a global warming catastrophe.

I applaud Palo Alto for having the foresight not to send its vehicles to clean tennis courts, fix potholes, investigate hazmat leaks or any other service normally provided by city government.

Best if our city council members continue to bike to meetings to bloviate about US foreign policy. Doesn't cost much to do that and no non-renewable resources are used - well if they keep the lights off, don't videotape the meetings . . .


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Posted by Tennis Buff
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 12, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Hi Paul,
Thanks for your input on this issue. I'm still trying to find out what the current status of tennis court cleaning actually is. Yesterday I was over at the Hopkins tennis courts, right near the Art Center off Newell. A large green sign on the fence said "Courts cleaned first and third Tuesday of the month." I peeked in and saw three, beautifully clean courts! Imagine my shock, given the dismal state of the Cubberley and Mitchell Park courts. I wonder if there's a different "cleaning schedule" for north vs. south Palo Alto courts. I plan to find out.


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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 13, 2008 at 7:01 am

Being a Parks Commissioner does not necessarily mean we have intimate knowledge of questions such as tennis court cleaning schedule, but I do try to help people with such questions.

What I do know leads me to believe that the schedule for cleaning the courts would be consistent, and that certain courts do not get preferential treatment. If you want to get a specific schedule, that information should be readily available. Call the Community Services department at Lucie Stern Center, and tell the person who answers the phone what you are interested in finding out. You may get referred around a bit, but if you start there, you should be able to get the information.


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Posted by priorities
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 13, 2008 at 9:00 am

It's all down to priorities. Cut funding for the tennis courts before higher priority items such as libraries. Seems only reasonable.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2008 at 10:03 am

Priorities

I agree priorities are necessary, but not necessarily the priorities you seem to think. I feel that libraries, tennis court upkeep, cutting grass at our parks, fixing potholes and dealing with the sewers and storm drains are on the same level of priority and should be near the top. What should be at the bottom is environmental matters, destination Palo Alto, and funding for some children's activities 100%.

Palo Alto does have to get its priority list straightened out. I do think that we should put thought into environmental issues and keeping our facilities clean actually is keeping the environment clean and making it easier for our residents to exercise and keep healthy in our parks and library, rather than driving to other cities to use their facilities must be a plus on both counts.


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 13, 2008 at 11:38 am

Add to that the city funding for the bike race - I STILL can't understand what we lost on that...I just want a figure...


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Posted by Tennis Buff
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 14, 2008 at 5:10 pm

Well, the plot thickens...
The city now tells me that:
"The Cubberley Center tennis court cleaning comes out of the Cubberley Center budget."
So that must mean that each set of courts is maintained by the budget for that facility or park. This seems really strange. Why wouldn't the city have a budget item for maintaining ALL the city's courts? That way, you'd have consistency across the different sites.


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Posted by joe
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2008 at 6:58 pm



Tennis Buff


Your best solution is to clean it yourself, take some responsibility and get other players to help out.

You mentioned moldy tennis balls, how do you think they got there, it was not the squirrels, it is because tennis plyers are not cleaning up after themselves.

Another solution is to start charging a fee for use of the courts.
basically PA is subsidizing a tennis club used by a minority

Enough is enough


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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 14, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Buff,

Cubberly is managed as a separate entity, I don't think you can infer from Cubberly much from the rest of the City budget or miantnenace schedules.

Your question still is fine, just trying to make sure you understand as you ask it that Cubberly for a variety of arcane reasons, is handled on its own, and it cannot be used for projecting other aspects of the City operations.


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