The city was less than half the size it is today, and the bulk of the recreation facilities that residents enjoy — including the aquatic center, the Hammon Senior Center and the Patterson Skate Park — did not exist.
Chaney’s role in the development of the city can scarcely be overstated.
More than two dozen parks have been built under her guidance, and she helped ensure that new development paid for them.
The nonprofit Patterson Repertory Theatre and other programs have flourished with her initial support. Sports teams have gained more places to play through joint-use agreements the city made with the Patterson Joint Unified School District under Chaney’s leadership, and a new teen center exists because of a partnership she helped forge with the Center for Human Services.
Whole new annual events have sprung up, such as the annual Art and Wine Gala — and even some that haven’t lasted, such as Skate the Circle nights, have left the community with warm memories.
While the opening of the Patterson Skate Park in 2011 involved some initial challenges, the park is now a community jewel, attracting skateboarding enthusiasts from San Francisco and more distant cities.
The city’s Health, Wellness and Hunger Coalition has benefited from Chaney’s guidance, and she has noted that she in turn gained a greater appreciation for those in need.
Chaney also has drawn attention to the natural attractions Patterson has in its backyard, promoting the San Joaquin River and Del Puerto Canyon through the Hikes, Bikes and Kayaking program.
Those resources will likely receive greater attention in the future, thanks to a park planned along the river and another planned for the base of the canyon in a draft Parks and Recreation Master Plan that Chaney has overseen.
In all of these ways and more, Chaney’s service to Patterson will be remembered long after she departs April 30 for a planned worldwide sailing journey with her family.
We wish the city luck in seeking a candidate to continue her legacy.