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Time to Mend Fences

September 21, 1986

Now that the Belmont Park redevelopment plan has been approved by the California Coastal Commission, the time has come to mend fences in the Mission Beach community.

We have watched with concern during recent months the bitter attacks on Councilman Mike Gotch by a highly vocal minority in Mission Beach because he supported the Belmont Park redevelopment project, giving the impression that the community does not support Mike Gotch or the proposed redevelopment.

We believe that this impression is false. Councilman Gotch has built an enviable accord of sponsoring projects that benefit the beach communities during his term in office, and we feel that Belmont Park is no exception. He has provided the leadership to enable the Plunge indoor pool and historic roller coaster to be restored, and to create an atmosphere that will allow residents and the beachgoing public to once again feel safe in Mission Beach.

The cleaning up of the park is long overdue. The entrance to our city's most popular beach is currently a decaying eyesore. The redevelopment will create the positive activity desperately needed to reverse years of deterioration and decline. Quality restaurants and shops and the renovated Plunge athletic facility will encourage public usage and revitalize the dilapidated site. A new police patrol station, night lighting and 24-hour security will discourage the drug dealers and gangs that now frequent the area. Residents and beachgoers will no longer have to fear harassment, and Mission Beach Park will once again become a family-oriented recreational park.

The staff of the city's Park and Recreation, Property, and Planning departments, the city manager, the city's independent economic consultant, and the state Coastal Commission staff have all endorsed the project. The time has come for those opposing the project to stop their verbal abuse of Mike Gotch and to work with the Mission Beach Town Council, the city and the developer to see that the development fulfills the promise of a lasting positive effect.

KATHRYN McCALL CAPUTO

(and eight others)

San Diego

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