By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Former mayors get bestowed with namesake parks
Rick Harden and 2-year-old grandson, Israel Gonzalez, do their part to celebrate National Arbor Day at Turlock’s Centennial Park in 2008. - photo by Journal file photo
Anyone who wants a park in the city of Turlock to bare their name might have to wait a while for the honor. At the Turlock Parks, Recreation and Community Commission meeting on June 10 the name “Dale Pinkney Park” was suggested for the last un-named park in Turlock.
Rick Harden, public facilities maintenance manager for the City of Turlock, formally asked the commission to name the park at the corner of Cherry Blossom Lane and Arthur Mace Drive after the former Turlock mayor. The park is currently known as Cimarron Park because it is located in the Cimarron housing area, but it has not been formally named yet. Once a park name is approved by the commission it has to be voted on by Turlock City Council to become official. Harden said at the meeting that there are not any new parks planned for the near future.
Dale Pinkney was Mayor Pinkney from 1978 through 1982. Before that he spent eight years on the Turlock City Council, and has since been a member of the planning commission, president of the Turlock Lions Club, and president of the Chamber of Commerce.
As a member of the Lions Club, Pinkney helped build the concession stand at Pedretti Park. His wife, Lois Pinkney, remembers him helping to construct the building.
“He got up on a cherry picker, and his Lions buddies left him up there for a laugh,” she said.
If the Turlock City Council approves of the name, Dale Pinkney will join several other former mayors of Turlock who have had parks named after them in their lifetime. Recent park names include Brad Bates Park and Curt Andre Park.
Brad Bates Park is located on the west side of the Turlock Regional Sports Complex. Bates, who was mayor of Turlock from 1982 through 1990, was a little surprised when he heard that a park was going to be named after him.
“I said ‘Well that’s nice, but don’t you have to be dead to have something named after you?’” Bates said.
Bates and his daughter Augusta played a founding role in the children’s play park at Donnelly Park. Together they promoted and fund raised for the play area. Bates said he is proud to have a piece of his community named after him. He also joked that having a park named after him will solve the issue of where to take the family Christmas picture this year.
“Its a small park, but it is a big honor,” Bates said.
Curt Andre Park is located near Brad Bates Park, on the east side of the Turlock Regional Sports Complex. Andre, who was mayor from 1990 to 2007, said that in his 17 years as mayor he tried to make parks a top priority.
“My single biggest regret as mayor is that I didn’t have the money to expand youth programs the way Turlock deserved,” Andre said.
Andre said he looks forward to having a family barbecue at the park named after him.
Lois Pinkney hopes that her husband can join Bates and Andre in seeing a park bare his name.
“If they could name a tree after him I would be happy,” Pinkney said.