City selects new group to adopt Al Radka Park

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- At Thursdays Fresno City Council meeting the director of the Way of Life Sports Foundation, Cardoza Tucker said his organization has done good things at Al Radka Park.

"We upgraded the baseball fields, we added in mounds, we brought back life and things of that nature to the park."

The foundation provided baseball and other sports at the park, but Fresno Parks Director Manuel Mollinedo says it was on a for profit basis, and it went too far.

"He started charging everybody to access -- I mean there was an incident where he actually charged everybody that came into the park, not just those who came to watch his baseball games."

Mollinedo also claims Tucker's group kept members of the public from using the park. Turning sprinklers on them when they refused to leave. Tucker denies the allegations.

Tucker and his associates told the city council they had an active program for special needs children at the park. Mollinedo told Action News his staff has investigated and said, "They have never seen the program operating out there."

The city has offered to let Tucker rent park space through the season, or move to another park but they have already found another youth sports program to actually adopt Al Radka Park.

The "Adopt a Park" program was started by Mayor Ashley Swearengin during the cities budget crisis. About a dozen of the city's 80 parks have been "adopted" by nonprofit groups and community organizations. They are required to keep the parks open for public use and provide volunteer clean up and maintenance.
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