by Rani Gupta / Voice of San Diego / March 30, 2009
When the city eliminated supervision at skate parks this year to save money, the parks filled with gleeful skaters who no longer had to pay $5 and be under the watchful eye of a supervisor.
Problems followed. The skate park at Robb Field at Ocean Beach was repeatedly tagged with graffiti, forcing city employees to make regular trips to clean it up. Reports surfaced of people drinking and smoking at the skate parks. Parks employees and police officers started checking in on the parks regularly.
All this was to save $282,571 a year. The move was approved in the fall to help close a $43 million midyear budget gap.
City officials say the problems have dropped off as the novelty of unattended skate parks has worn off, and some skateboarders at Robb Field recently said the mood at the park has mellowed.
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