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  • marybarnsdale

Why East Bay Times doesn't endorse Norman La Force

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

East Bay Times has enthusiastically endorsed Elizabeth Echols for East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) board of directors, Ward 1. Echols has the track record, the skills, the passion, and the team-building skills to guide the country's largest regional park district through difficult times.

East Bay Times thinks Norman La Force would be bad for the park district. La Force wants to change EBPRD -- which is beloved by East Bay residents and nationally recognized for being well-run -- from the inside. His actions on the outside suggest that that's a really bad idea. Two things East Bay Times called out:

1) La Force is always suing or threatening to sue the park district. When he doesn’t like the way some long, expensive, and fair public process has turned out – he sues to force it to go his way. Norman’s Albany Beach lawsuits alone cost the District – that is, us – about $325,000. That’s a lot of picnic benches, bathrooms, ADA access, and trail improvements.

2) La Force has been caught in a big lie. Twenty years ago, Norman worked hard to reduce off-leash recreation at Point Isabel from about 50 acres to 23 acres. He was free to do that. He lost. But now he claims that HE led a Sierra Club drive to “double the size of the Point Isabel Dog Park.” He is literally claiming credit for something he tried to PREVENT.

Facts matter. Lying to voters is wrong. And this appears to be a cynical attempt to appeal to the 30 to 40 percent of East Bay households that have dogs.

This isn’t about whether you like dogs or think North Point Isabel shouldn’t have allowed off-leash dogs. That’s a red herring. This is about integrity.

People who admire La Force will feel wounded and leap to his defense. But remember, HE is the one who chose to lie. He could have just run on his environmental cred. He's his own worst enemy.

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