West U Activist Lectures Bellaire City Council

June 3, 2014

West University Place resident Ramsay Elder took the issue of more parks in West U to the Bellaire City Council Monday.

Elder told the Bellaire Council that West U officials are encouraging their residents to use the neighboring parks in Bellaire.

“I think that’s outrageous,” Elder said.

Elder, a former Bellaire resident who has lived in West U for the past 39 years, thinks that the city of West U should acquire more parkland. He said the city has “never acted” on a $2 million bond referendum approved by voters in 2006 to buy parkland east of Edloe St.

He told the Bellaire Council about city of West U Parks Director Tim O’Connor’s recent comments about West U residents having access to nearby parks in Houston and Bellaire. O’Connor made those comments after a recent West U council meeting in which the 2014 Parks Master Plan Survey was presented.

Quoting from a local newspaper, Elder noted that O’Connor said that West U residents can always use the developing Evelyn’s Park, which is located at Bellaire Blvd. and Newcastle.

“I have to ask, rhetorically, is that okay with you?” Elder said to the Bellaire Council. “If that’s okay with you, I’ll see you at the parks.”

Elder said he was unable to attend the recent West U council meeting, but that he plans to address the Parks Advisory Board and the Council on the issue of acquiring more parkland soon. The parks board meets Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the West U Rec Center

Elder said he is upset that city officials seem to have “an official policy” of encouraging West U citizens to use the parks facilities in other cities.

“I am planning to bring it up at the next (council) meeting,” Elder said.

Elder complained that West U is about 90 percent the size of Bellaire, but West U only has about 17 acres of parkland. Bellaire, on the other hand, with the acquisition of Evelyn’s Park, will have about 45 acres of parkland, Elder said.