Amanda Dove, editor of a Discovery Bay newspaper and well-known community organizer, brought her idea before the CSD board on April 21, looking for the board’s input – and blessing – on what she hopes will be a three-series concert event beginning in June and replacing some of the town’s other recently scuttled events.
“So many Discovery Bay events have been cancelled this year, leaving our community without family-oriented options,” said Dove. “This is a town that lacks a geographic heart, and I think this (concert series) could be it.”
Dove, who engineers the town’s Parade of Lights each year, along with other local events, said that her publication and the Boardwalk Grill would be the presenters and organizers of the events she hopes to hold on the third Fridays of June, July and August. The concerts would offer a variety of bands, including jazz, country and classic rock.
Details on the logistics of the series, which Dove presented to the CSD board, included insurance options, garbage disposal, security, traffic and parking as well as cleanup and vendor options.
The board, while generally in favor of the concerts, did raise some concerns. “I support the concept and I think it’s a great idea; however, it’s our duty to get the details addressed,” said CSD Director David Piepho, who added that he would like to see, among other things, a security deposit established to cover any damages to the park as a result of the events.
CSD President Kevin Graves said he was worried about who would end up paying for the events, and wondered if Dove’s plan for three concerts might be overly ambitious.
“I think it’s a great idea and from what I’ve heard I think the rest of the board thinks it’s a good idea too,” said Graves in a recent phone interview. “But we have some concerns with security and financing and I have to say that it seems unreasonable at this point to plan something for early summer. It might make more sense to plan something for later in the summer.”
Dove has said that the presenters would take ultimate responsibility for the events that she estimates would cost approximately $4,000 per concert. She also said that it was her hope that local sponsors and supporters would help pay for the events, and that the Boardwalk Grill is considering selling beer and wine during the concerts as a way to offset expenses.
But some obstacles remain. While researching the town’s options and liabilities for the events, it was discovered that Slifer Park, as well as Regatta Park, are still county-owned properties. According to Discovery Bay General Manager Virgil Koehne, the town has submitted the paperwork for the agreed-upon transfer of rights to the town, and is awaiting the county’s response.
“There are still some common areas that the county is dividing up in and around those two parks,” said Koehne. “And when that is done, the transfer will be completed.”
According to John Oborne, senior planner for the county, “The county owns Slifer and Regatta parks and they have an agreement with the town to maintain the parks through the use of a landscape service contract. Final liability for the park, at this point, is still on the county.”
That means that while the CSD can hear Dove’s proposal, its only official role would be as an advisory council making recommendations to the county. The final approval and permit would come from the county – a process that could take months.
And because the park is still county-owned, the county’s no-alcohol policy might prohibit the serving of wine and beer at the concerts. Dove, however, said it was her understanding that in the case of special events, the county can issue a one-time permit allowing alcohol on the premises.
County Supervisor Mary Piepho said her office is in the process of drafting a response to Dove’s proposal: “We are working on a response letter for both Amanda (Dove) and the Town of Discovery Bay on the preliminary inquiry from Amanda received in early April. There are multiple issues that must be addressed in order for the county to permit this event, including an initial application filing, to indemnification and liability insurance for the county and CSD.
“I personally think it’s a great idea and hope we can encourage the process be completed in a timely fashion in order to allow the community the enjoyment of an outdoor concert. We will also look for the Town of Discovery Bay CSD and the Discovery Bay P-6 Advisory Committee’s approval prior to the county being able to perform.”
CSD Director Ray Tetreault is hopeful the community event will come to fruition. “I think it’s a good idea and I hope they can pull it off,” said Tetreault of Dove’s presentation to the CSD Board. “There were some good points that were brought up that need to be addressed, and certainly we should be diligent, but I also think we should try and do everything we can to make it happen and not be a roadblock. I think it would be a wonderful thing for the community.”
Dove plans to file for a private-use permit with the county, return to the CSD at its next meeting, May 5, and address any additional concerns with the project. “We’re hoping this will be a giant picnic in the park,” said Dove at the meeting. “It’s free, it’s safe and it’s organized. This is for our community and I believe there is a sense of excitement about it.”