Residents of Talmadge are crying foul to San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Terry Grier after awaking July 23 to their neighborhood streets laden with litter, including empty beer cans, red plastic cups, and balled up used diapers.
“We are literally being dumped on by the school district,” writes Talmadge resident Ron Anderson in an email, complaining about the loud noise, traffic, and litter from a July 22 adult soccer league game at Hoover High School.
The residents of Talmadge feared this would happen. During the past year, they have battled with school district officials over a project to renovate Hoover High School’s athletic facilities.
During the planning stages of the project, residents worried the new fields -- with 90-foot light towers -- would attract outside leagues wanting to rent the field from the school and bring unwanted traffic, noise, and crime into their neighborhood.
In response to the concerns from Talmadge residents, Superintendent Grier sent a letter to councilmember Todd Gloria’s office on April 17, stating the school would not rent the field out for “non-school uses such as adult soccer leagues.” In his letter, Grier also pledged to “increase campus security during stadium events.”
Now, months before those renovations are finished, the residents say the school district’s promises are empty and meaningless, that no one in the community was notified of the game, and no security was present to patrol the area.
“We are not even into the school year yet and a promise has already been broken to our community,” writes Anderson.
“If the school can't control the field events during the daylight hours, how in the world do they plan to control them [during night games]?” asked Anderson.
By 10:30 a.m. the next morning, Talmadge neighbors had sent in a formal complaint to Grier and councilmember Todd Gloria’s office. “After many community meetings and many residents coming to the table to offer solutions and compromise, we thought we were making some progress. However, sadly, that does not seem to be the case....
“Many residents had to call the police regarding traffic congestion, illegal parking, cars encroaching on driveways, illegal drinking outside the field, excessive trash scattered throughout the neighborhood, and the unwelcome noise of horns blaring well after the event and into the night. Visitors were present well after the game hooting it up and partying....
“This leaves us with the sense that we can only expect more broken promises and it makes trusting what you tell our community difficult,” read the complaint.
Katie Keach, chief of staff for councilmember Todd Gloria, said Gloria’s office contacted Hoover High principal Chuck Podhorsky. “He assured our staff that new event protocols were being developed to better share event information with the community and to strengthen lines of communication between the school’s administration and neighbors. Councilmember Gloria will continue to monitor the situation and provide connections with City resources as appropriate.”