Lisa Elkins 0

Keep our community Park Host, Chris Gardner, of Jess Martin Park in Julian.

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Chris Gardner has been the Jess Martin Park volunteer park hosts for 6 years.

In exchange for his service, Chris and his wife Jane, a retired RN, live onsite of the park in their RV. Chris goes beyond the expectations in his role as "park host" by providing 24/7 overall care, cleanliness, and security of the park.

Chris's duties include, but are not limited to the following areas of this 9 acre park:

  • Playground
  • Exercise path
  • Skate park
  • Picnic Tables
  • Ball fields
  • Restrooms
  • Community outreach and support
  • Security

Both Chris and Jane are valued members of the community. Chris has offered community service without a salary as the park host of Jess Martin Park and the Julian community. Chris has not only kept the community/family-oriented park safe and clean, he has also watched out for our children for six years. There are many examples of his care and services : we have felt safe knowing that they were there when our teens skateboarded or when our car wouldn't start when it got dark.

However, despite going far and beyond for our community park, Chris was recently told that the park was going in "another direction" and that someone with "different skills" was needed as a host. Chris and disabled wife, Jane,were given only 30 days to find a new home in a terrifying rental market.

This is not an example of compassion and appreciation for free services; it is likely to leave two seniors and Jane's service dog in training - each beloved community members, entirely homeless right before winter.

Jess Martin Park is Julian's park. We pay taxes for it, we picnic there, we take our little ones to the playground, play sports, celebrate birthdays, snow sledding, Quinceañera's, and much more.

We, the undersigned, respectfully ask that Chris and Jane be allowed to keep their home at the park, even if another host is added for additional services. If it is not possible to add a host or otherwise, at the very least, allow them to keep living there in their home until another opportunity presents itself.

We also wish to see Chris and Jane treated with dignity and reasonable notice of not less than 90 days given.

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