More on “Fenced Out”

CM Hansen Responds to July Article

July 2019

Publisher’s note: Sacramento City Councilmember Steve Hansen has objected to a column published in the July editions of Inside Publications written by R.E. Graswich entitled “Fenced Out: Councilmember Blocks Public From River Parkway.” Inside Publications stands by the column, which contained no factual errors. Hansen does not dispute the foundation of the story—that he supports and encouraged the fencing and gating of a public access point to the Sacramento River Levee Parkway at 35th Avenue and Riverside Boulevard. Nor does he dispute the fact that no engineering survey was conducted to determine the property lines, that portions of the fence were likely built on privately owned land, and that no public outreach was conducted. Moreover, Hansen does not dispute the fact that he and his staff refused to meet with Graswich prior to the column’s publication.

Inside Publications offered Hansen the opportunity to respond in column form, but he did not submit a response. However, in the interest of transparency, Inside Publications is publishing Hansen’s request for a correction.

Inside Publications will continue to report on the issue of public access to the Sacramento River Parkway in Little Pocket, and is ready to meet with Hansen at his convenience to discuss his opposition to public access. So far he has refused Bob Graswich’s attempts to meet.

 

 

To Cecily Hastings,

I am writing in response to a column printed in the latest issue of Inside Publications from R.E. Graswich, titled: “Fenced Out: Councilmember Blocks Public From River Parkway.” In light of substantial and numerous factual inaccuracies in the piece, I am requesting at least these three corrections be issued for the following errors:

  1. Discussing a gate installed on public property accessing levee at 35th and Riverside, the author asserts (without evidence) that a gate built by the City “appears to have been hastily constructed on private land, which would make it a gift of public funds—a violation of state law.”

This is false, and the record should be corrected. The gate was constructed on Assessor’s Parcel Number 0290021056, which as you can see from the attached, is owned by the City of Sacramento.

  1. Discussing the decision to install the gate, the author asserts “the gate was Hansen’s handiwork. In fact, the parks department (sic) wanted no part of the gate.”

This is false, and the record should be corrected. Various validated complaints from residents about conditions on the city property led to the installation of the gate. The Parks Department, along with the Sacramento Police Department, and our City’s code division, all coordinated on the installation of the gate, and the Parks Department managed the project to install it, which began in late 2018. Parks requested the earlier installed gate be removed because it was installed by an adjacent property owner on City land without applying for a permit – an illegal encroachment. There is a difference between removing an unlawfully installed gate limiting the city’s ability to maintain its property and making the constructing a gate to control blight concerns at a later date. The reason that fence was illegal was precisely because it was placed on City property, restricting the City and its staff’s ability to conduct maintenance and address issues and without securing the proper permits to encroach on City land.

  1. Discussing the timeline of the project, the author asserts “The city rushed to complete the job after Inside Sacramento and local residents sought details from Hansen’s office and the City manager’s staff.”

This is false and the record should be corrected. The City initially began work on the project in late 2018 and it took over 5 months to complete after an initial timeline estimate of 4-6 weeks for installation of the gate. This project was led by Parks staff in the same manner as any maintenance request predicated on safety that was initiated through constituent concern.

I look forward to your response. I’m traveling on the East Coast with family and unable to submit anything further by your July 10th deadline.

Best,

Steve Hansen

shansen@cityofsacramento.org

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