Greg Stanton’s vision for Cameron Park includes more civic events, a dog park and a walkable town center, “if not in my lifetime, at least in my kid’s.”
“We have this bifurcated community because of the freeway, but so does El Dorado Hills and they overcame it; so can we,” he said. “We just need to plan, so that when the building environment is more friendly it can happen.”
But first thing’s first. Stanton sees an opportunity to better utilize the handsome new community center and what he called the district’s hidden gem, Cameron Park Lake, to develop a Cameron Park brand through creatively themed family friendly events, such as the recent Ribstock cook-off and party.
The events would raise cash to help the district get through the current economic downturn, and create a more engaged community.
Stanton, 49, and the balance of the Cameron Park Community Services District Board of Director’s freshman class, Shiva Frentzen and Scott McNeil, were sworn in during the December meeting. All agree that their No. 1 concern is the budget.
“This board needs to be not only fiscally conservative, but proactive about it,” said Stanton.
He’s heard the rumblings in the community that the community center can’t sustain the cost of its own overhead, and doesn’t believe it.
“I think we have a combination of things coming together,” he said, “a strong general manager, a marketing plan and in (marketing consultant) Bob Davis, someone who has a great vision for how to build a sense of community.
“We focus on the community center because it’s the most recently built, yet we have other resources in the community, like the lake, that provide opportunities to build our brand, a sense of place here.”
If the annual Summer Spectacular and the recent Ribstock cook-off party are any indication, there’s room to grow community participation.
“I’m looking forward to expanding those types of things, and I think it’s also a great way to expand participation in local government,” said Stanton.
“When you do more stuff, more people get engaged,” he said, citing the November election as an example.
“The campaign itself raised awareness of who we are and what we do,” he said. “Look at the turnout Scott got, over 4,100 votes. I think that’s the most votes any one CSD candidate has ever received.”
Community center staff reported that many people who came to vote there on Nov. 2 had never been inside the facility before.
Coming off the community center project, Stanton doesn’t foresee any large park projects getting funded in the next couple years, but does hope to see the dog park, which he joked should be named the “McNeil Dog Park,” become a reality during his term.
“Dog parks are another way to build and enhance the sense of community,” he said. “Just like a town center will be one day.”
Stanton said he thinks the new board will commit to maintaining a professional, open dialogue with the public, a standard that hasn’t always been maintained in the past, and newly elected board president McNeil will ensure the tenor of the meetings remains respectful.
“I’m excited about the work the vision committee has done,” said Stanton. “Like the sign says, this is a great place to live; it’s totally true.”