City Manager Steve Ando presented three options to improve the trailhead to the council at its regular meeting, with each option increasing in expense. The first option would create a small three-space parking lot with a trash bin and security fencing at a cost of $57,000. Option two added four more spaces and cost $108,000. The third option would add a security light to the mix and cost $120,000.
The money was to come from gas taxes, but none of the council members was going down that road. Councilwoman Stephany Aguilar said the funds should come from the Parks and Recreation Department budget and questioned why nobody from the department was there to present these ideas.
Councilman Dean Bustichi expressed his frustration with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, which manages the 166-acre preserve and holds a conservation easement on it, home to rare species such as the Ohlone Tiger Beetle and the Scotts Valley Spineflower. A draft management plan for Glenwood was supposedly going to be finished many years ago. Meanwhile, the Land Trust has been leasing the land to horse owners for grazing. The Tiger Beetle supposedly prefers short grass that has been grazed on.
"I'm so frustrated with the Land Trust and the way this trail system has not happened. They are leasing this property, making money off of this property, yet when a child wants to jump a fence to go to the pond, they get sworn at," he said. "We have this great resource that we can't even walk on. … I would never want to use gas taxes or general fund money for it. I think the Land Trust needs to step up and do what we all thought that they would do a decade ago."
In the end, the council chose option four, which was to leave the trailhead in its existing condition. For security reasons, because the high school is nearby, the council did want to revisit adding a security fence and possibly a light.
"It's a wish list, not a need," said Councilman Randy Johnson before the vote. "I can't support anything but option number four."