Bring back swimming to Tempe Beach Park?

By:  Dick Foreman  / City Council Candidate and your Tempe neighbor!

So I just got home from the Tempe Settlers picnic and what a blast to see so many great Tempe faces and hear so many great Tempe stories. Special thanks to Joel Navarro, who I know serves on the board that puts this together, and of course, the one and only Joe Spracale and so many others!

Many of the stories I so enjoyed listening to this afternoon had to do with the “old” Tempe Beach Park. Of course, as Joe will remind us, it was a park, picnic area and pool along the mighty Salt River; not really a beach. It certainly looked very different in those days but what great memories Tempeans have of it! I believe the original concept of Tempe Beach Park can make a comeback. I’ve discussed this with quite a few folks, will be discussing a lot more in the city council campaign to come, but thought I’d share this thought here.

Tempe Town Lake is a marvelous facility. World class events happen here, tourists flock to the lakeside and event planners rub their hands in glee at the thought of locking in a Fall/Winter/Spring weekend for good reason. People love to come here to play and participate in Tempe and on Town Lake. But I’m thinking that Town Lake has a ways to go to recapture some of the magic of the past. Tempe Beach Park. That was magic!

I will be exploring the feasibility of the City actually opening up a beach for our use and ensuring that it is available to Tempe kids and families the most. In other words, no roping it off for special events, but focusing on keeping it open as much as possible for all our families and neighbors to enjoy.

How is that possible? I think it is possible if we use some sort of easy to put in place, easy to take down, water curtains that would separate Town Lake with a thin sheet of material between anchored pylons so that we could properly treat and maintain a high level of water quality that met all swimming standards for the designated area, maybe an acre or less, with a real sandy beach leading into it. For flood control operations, the barrier could easily be removed to permit the passing of flood waters. The sand might need maintenance after such an event, but the cost of that for the benefit derived would be the real deal for Tempe families.

What do you think? Is it worth taking advantage of this beautiful lake by ensuring that our tax dollars are well used to open up lake activities to everyone? Would you like to see some of the old town charm of Tempe restored with a focus on picnics, families and enjoying a day at “the beach?”

Do you have ideas you’d be willing to share to help make this happen? Councilmember Shekerjian has already agreed to help me look into this with staff but this isn’t intended to be an exclusive club of researchers. The more the merrier. Hope this gets your thoughts flowing, too. And if you need more  validation of the merits of a real Tempe Beach, you might talk to some of the “old settlers” I met with today. They can regale you with the value, the memories and the beauty of such a facility.

Bring back Tempe Beach Park!

Dick Foreman
City Council Candidate and your Tempe neighbor

Dick Foreman answers the question “why are you running?”

By: Dick Foreman

I announced that I would be a candidate for city council on Friday, September 16. I thought both gentlemen above made some great points. And I will verify that Kolby’s comment about the most common question he gets is exactly the same question I get. “Why are you running?”

Isn’t it interesting that so many Tempeans are focused on the “why” someone is running and not a specific issue? But I do believe there are several good reasons for that.

I will answer the question first on the why I’m running.

Those of you who know me well know that I fill my day with service, work and family. But when you spend nearly 35 years serving in a city in numerous capacities, including school board, city commissions, service organizations and civic causes, it clearly signals your personal commitment to your town. I have decided to offer my candidacy not just because a lot of friends and colleagues urged me to, but because that same drive I’ve always had to lend some of my experience to help is my motor for life. I actually believe I can make a difference.

I can make a difference because I do empathize with the needs of our town and I’ve done something about it in our schools, our civic endeavors and throughout our community over decades of my personal service and commitment.

I can make a difference because I do have significant business experience, both large and small, and I can use that to help me serve. I’ve actually run a small business, too. I’ve made payroll. I’ve personally created jobs. I am now and always have been a taxpayer.

I can make a difference because like so many of you, I have stared into the jaws of a recession as it has affected my finances, my family, my work, my colleagues and town, and as I have rolled up my sleeves for the challenges it presents, I simply will not accept excuses for failure. I intend to exemplify that same attitude in service to all of Tempe.

I can make a difference because I know, I KNOW that the real engine for our community is jobs. I do not say that like a slogan. I say that with a commitment to the same ideals as in the work I do every day. For example, I work for a company that has NEVER had a layoff. Not one person. EVER. That’s a commitment to not just budgeting, but working together, management and labor, department to department, finding ways to serve customers better, less expensively and never accepting defeat. It’s leading by example and listening to new ideas. It’s never doing things as you have done them before on some sort of management autopilot, because more than likely, that’s what’s gotten you into the mess to begin with. Get fresh. Get real. Never, ever get in the way of small business and their ability to change lives every day. Government doesn’t create jobs. Business does. Government does not lead economic recoveries. It foils them. Leaders who trust the job creators will serve us better because they won’t foil real growth with political schemes.

People in Tempe cannot put their finger on a single issue in city leadership by some sort of consensus because there is no single issue. Our issues are pervasive, broad ranging and the bludgeoning Tempeans have taken over the last five years is an unrelenting club.

As much as I would like to promise a quick fix, I can tell you that determination, commitment and experience are always good starting points coupled with just enough patience to allow the real growth, business and economic growth, to prevail. My personal commitment is to demonstrate that I will do this in a civil, respectful election process. And I will always be listening, because I have yet to learn anything while I’m talking. With your permission, I’m ready to lead, ready to listen and ready to roll up my sleeves on your behalf.

My campaign is called “Foreman For Tempe.” My campaign team, website, media and outreach are just now getting organized, so we’ll be in touch soon!