One of the central planks of Norman La Force's platform as he runs for the board of directors of East Bay Regional Park District is that he doubled the size of the "Point Isabel Dog Park." He did not.
The paper trail leaves no doubt: Norman actively fought to reduce off-leash recreation by more than 50 percent.
He had his reasons, and that's fine. Park users resisted, and that's fine, too. What's not okay is to claim credit 20 years later for something he tried to prevent.
Norman's supporters argue, illogically, that 2) Norman doubled Point Isabel, and 2) that people who walk dogs on North Point Isabel (or anywhere) are selfish despoilers of the environment who care more about themselves and their dogs than the environment. But but but...isn't Norman the one who doubled the "Point Isabel Dog Park"? If it wasn't a good idea, why did he fight for it?
Norman's core supporters all know his claim is false, but they are very invested in having their guy on the park district board. It's a microcosm of national politics, the green version of, "Yeah, he may be a liar, but look at my 401K!"
This letter proves just how complicit they are. It's from Citizens for East Shore Parks (CESP) to the head of California State Parks. It's signed by Robert Cheasty, Sylvia McLaughlin, Norman La Force, and Arthur Feinstein. It's dated September 17, 2002, a couple of weeks before the state park planners published the General Plan that would become the blueprint for Eastshore State Park (now McLaughlin Eastshore State Park). It addresses many issues that CESP believed might be unresolved. Regarding North Point Isabel, it says:
"North Point Isabel is an area adjacent to Point Isabel, an East Bay Regional Park facility where off-leash dogs are permitted. It is regionally well-known and well-used by dog owners. Dog advocates seek expansion to North Point Isabel, a proposal adopted by the Planning Team. By exempting this area from the State Park and leasing/granting it to the E.B.R.P.D. the off-leash use can be provided without contravening State Park policies."
Here's how that would read if Norman's claim had any truth to it: "We are pleased that the Planning Team has agreed to our recommendation that off-leash recreation continue on North Point Isabel. If the Planning Team is struggling with how to authorize that within State Park policies, here's one way it could be done."