The pressure is on for Dodds Park

Just making note of conversations about Dodds Park recently. First, here is John Foreman’s Sunday article:

John Foreman: Dodds site makes the most sense

Next, here is a small portion of just one Twitter thread:

In that thread, I posted a copy of the Deed I have, plus draft versions of potential soccer fields at Interstate Drive which I received last year:

I am sure there will be more.


UPDATE: There is now a petition active:

UPDATE 2: CPD says they will talk about Dodds:

22 Responses to “The pressure is on for Dodds Park”

  1. kshannon617 Says:

    I’m repeating this comment in every forum I can think of. If people want to pressure the Park Board to put Dodds on the table, they should email them! Spalding is still my first choice, but I think Dodds is much better than Interstate Drive. So I’ve sent my email to the Park Board. The link below has all the board members’ email addresses.

    • pattsi Says:

      As I read this post, I reflect on a comment made during the Jim Turpin show last Thursday. (I believe one can go to the WDWS archive to listen to that program yourself.) A male caller rather strongly pointed out that Unit 4 and citizens are out of line putting the pressure on the CPD to give up park land that previous CPD boards were able to plan ahead sufficiently to see such need in the community. The CPD board bought the land, now referred to as Dodds Park, before Parkland was a gleam in the community’s collective eye west of town. Then the caller went on to point out that Unit 4 was not acting in a similar manner. In fact, it was implied that such non action could have been intentional. Now there is rabid discussion as to the siting of a HS and the assumption that it is proper for the non forward thinking BOE to usurp forward thinking previous park boards.
      Interesting to ponder the caller’s comment.

      • Rebecca Patterson Says:

        I’ve been thinking along the same lines. I resent the lack of planning by one government body being pushed off onto another government body as a solution. I’m also curious to know how much the community has invested in this land. It’s been a park for years so we have been supporting it all this time with our tax dollars. People act like we would get it free. What would it cost to replace it?

      • John Bambenek Says:

        It was Joe Petry, not unit 4 that put Dodds park on the table first. It is Joe Petry who has been muscling around the school board and trying to apply public pressure while offering no viable solutions whatsoever. The rulebook was thrown out the window by Joe Petry, Alan Nudo, and David Sholem. It seems like the community has figured out that the only solution here is for Joe to make good on his offer for dodds park.

      • kshannon617 Says:

        I would agree that the CPD was more forward-thinking than the BOE. I would disagree strongly that the citizens are out of line putting pressure on the CPD. The park board reports to the citizens, not the other way around.

  2. pattsi Says:

    Kathy, you are absolutely accurate that the citizens ought to speak and be heard. The issue is that the speaking and hearing are on false choices not a complete panoply of options with concrete analyses including externalities. Now the situation has become a “shouting match” of whose wheel can squeak the loudest to win. Not best practice toward a 5 decade decision.

  3. charlesdschultz Says:

    Looks like the Park District is willing to go through the motions of taking the talk about Dodds seriously:

    Of particular interest to me is how the “democracy” of this turns out. Will the citizenry show up in numbers at the PD board meeting? Will all perspectives get a moment on the mike? I am not necessarily wanting to hear from those who are already VERY vocal, but rather, from those who have not yet had a chance to broadcast their voice.

    There are several interesting viewpoints. Some people seem to not know what true “infill” really is. 🙂 Others think they can wrap up an entire segment of society into a nice little box. Will we discuss the true purpose of parks and schools? Or will that be lost in the noise?

  4. Rochelle Funderburg Says:

    I feel compelled to comment at this point. I attended a park district meeting to voice my objections to the use of Dodds Park for a school. The meeting was also attended by Kerris Lee, I believe, and someone addressed the board to advise that it was the park district’s duty to cooperate with the school board, and that if we had to wait 10 years to replace the park, well that was O.K. because a school was more important.

    I feel that we have been duped–I am beginning to wonder if this was coordinated from the very beginning–that Joe Petry would suggest Spaulding, and the school board would come back, and say no, but we want Dodds Park.

    Poor planning on the part of the school board should not translate into some kind of required action on the part of the park district. The Park District’s mission is to provide parks and recreation, not to provide cover for Unit 4.

    Dodds Park suffers from some of the same issues as the interstate location–Neil Strack made some compelling points in his letter to the editor today.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Rochelle, I wanted to extend thanks for speaking up and offering a different perspective; as always, I very much welcome the opinion of those who either disagree with me and/or the general mood of the readers.

      Your comment about “poor planning” brought to my mind the adage “lack on planning on your part does not constitutue an emergency on my part”, which is exactly what I think we are witnessing. It’s like all the sudden we realized we were over capacity in 2012 and now we have to fix it.

      You also mentioned Neil Strack’s letter – I will link it here for the benefit of others:

      That is all I will say at the moment and let others chime in as they see fit.

      • Rebecca Patterson Says:

        Going back to Rochelle’s comment about something fishy, several people have made comments that the Interstate Dr land was overpriced, but now there’s a story from the park district that if they traded land it would have to be worth as much or more. If the land was priced closer to neighboring properties I don’t think there would even be a discussion. Does anyone have an idea how much the land is worth at Dodds?

  5. Rochelle Funderburg Says:

    Thanks very much. I have now started a petition to maintain the park as a park which can be found at I’m encouraging everyone who supports this to sign the petition as I believe that the park district needs to hear from all interested parties, not just those who support Unit 4’s request.

    • pattsi Says:

      Thank you for starting an alternative petition.
      Call the Champaign County Assessor’s Office to find out the assessed value that makes up Dodds. While talking with the assessor, Stan Jenkins, as about the assessed value of the land mentioned at the intersection of Curtis and Duncan or the freeway overpass area, which is being discussed for development. Just remember assessed value and purchase price value may not be the same.
      One more time, I want to point out the escalating increase in vacant land purchase price as each elected body pays close to $5000 more per acre each time more land is purchased for a project. The land to widen Curtis bought from the Lowe’s cost $30000/acre. So the county was put in the position of paying $35,000/acre for the extension of Olympian and Lincoln. Now Unit 4 has paid $40,000/acrea. So projecting, the next land purchase by an elected body could be $45,000/acre. This is all taxpayer dollars.

    • charlesdschultz Says:

      Rochelle, I tweeted it out, let’s see who else picks it up.

      Just for convenience, I include a link to both the facebook page and the petition itself:

  6. pattsi Says:

    I just learned yesterday that there is available an interactive crime map for our communities (yes, I am probably the last person to learn this) showing up-to-date reported crimes. This is very interesting information as people move forward deciding about a HS site.

    Here is the web site

    I posted the same information on FB. A poster added this useful information about the reported and non reported crimes.

    “This is also a great way to leave a tip about a crime through Crime Stoppers! It is a Crime Stoppers site and they also have an app for smartphones and the tipster does remain anonymous. Two things to know about this site: It doesn’t report all crimes, some domestics and other crimes are left off for victim security reasons, and our County department (along with other smaller departments) does not pay to have their crimes reported (Champaign, Urbana and U of I do) But it does do a great job with sex offenders as those come from the Illinois State Police.”

  7. pattsi Says:

    Here is an additional comment to my FB post.
    “PSA: Nearly 40% of the calls for service to Champaign Police Dept are for “Domestics.” (Chief Cobb told us in November that the number is 38%.) Still unconvinced? Enter an address on this map & take a look at all the “A”s that populate it (hover over each for details). DV is all around us, and these are only the reported cases. (Sex offender data, thefts, etc are also listed on this site. Thanks to Pattsi Petrie for sharing the site.)”

  8. pattsi Says:

    I am listening to a webinar on communicating design and aesthetics in the urban planning process. Key terms used now that apply to what is happening related to the HS siting: creating the environment to arrive at informed consent–not happening. What is happening, another term mentioned by the speaker, i tyranny of the majority–what is now happening–screaming mob on an emotional level and not informed consent.

  9. Rochelle Funderburg Says:

    I would like the parties involved to use the correct term for infill–I understand that to mean property that isn’t being used or is otherwise vacant, not green space being used for a park

  10. rochf Says:

    I recently received an FOIA response from the Park District and will receive one from Unit 4 shortly. Mr. Schultz, if you can provide me your email address, I will gladly share those with you as well. I found some of the items very interesting.

  11. pattsi Says:

    Who is “rochf”?

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