Promises made. Promises kept. In the early 1970’s and into the 1980’s and even 1990’s, Tempe was acquiring neighborhood parks at a rapid rate as residential development boomed. Preliminary development of the new neighborhood parks was completed, often by the maintenance crews under the supervision of I.O. Rasmussen and Ray Ginn. Ball field lighting was overseen by Duane Dawson, often with his own involvement. The idea, then was to get the parks useable. The plan was to come back when funds were available and new acquisitions had slowed or stopped At the same time, Kiwanis Parks, the Ken McDonald Golf Course, Rolling Hills expansion and renovation of of Diablo Stadium required resources and maintenance personal diverted to those projects. At no time, did the staff, Mayor and City Councils abandoned the idea of going back to add and improve the parks. Along came the Rio Salado and the downturn in the economy.. But the commitment was never forgotten. Tempe citizens never turned down bond election. Neighborhood involvement continued strong. Now, after decades of waiting, the City of Tempe is fulfilling those promises. My personal thanks to those who never forgot the promises. Thanks to the many administrations, Mayors and City Council members for continuing the dream. As Walt Disney once said, “if you can dream it, you can do it”.
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