ARCADIA (CBSLA) — Eisenhower Park in Arcadia is undergoing a complete transformation.
There are new picnic areas and baseball diamonds.
But CBS/KCAL9’s Randy Paige reports the basketball courts that used to be here are not coming back.
Some say it’s not that people don’t like the game, some don’t like the players.
At last night’s city council meeting, Arcadia Mayor Pro Tem Roger Chandler said unsanctioned basketball tournaments attract undesirable people.
“They come from out of town, they take over the basketball courts,” he said.
“I personally observed some of the folks, and they’re not the type that I would drive into Arcadia,” he said.
Paige spoke to people who live next to the park. Blanca Gomez has lived next to the park for 30 years.
She never recalls seeing anyone undesirable on the court and wants to see the play area return.
“I would love to see them,” she says.
Howard Benioff has lived two houses down for 40 years.
“We walk by there every day, and I’ve driven up the street when I’m not walking, and I’ve never seen a bad element there,” Benioff says.
Sraavan Donthineni grew up here.
“I have never witnessed anything like that here,” he says.
Last night, council members got an earful from others who live near the park.
“I do not want to become a paranoid community that excludes other people of other colors or other races or ethnicities,” said one woman.
“And there are dads and there are grandparents and there are little children learning how to play basketball and it is awesome,” said another woman.
The residents who were pro-ball convinced the mayor to change her mind.
“I would like to see us put basketball courts in this [proposal],” she said.
The plan without basketball courts was approved without her on a 3-2 vote.
Paige spoke to folks who said they’re going to fight city hall and try to convince the city council to change its mind.