Public/Private Partnerships: Will Commercialization Save Our City Parks?
Dennis Hathaway at Ban Billboard Blight is a constant source of inspiration as he follows the ins and outs of LA's outdoor advertising sign developments. This recent post asks some serious questions about LA city council members' approach to public debate and asking the hard questions that would reveal the motivations behind public/private partnerships which would bring commercial advertising to public parks in LA. Riding a wave of red ink, it would seem that the outdoor advertising industry is only too willing to step in and pick up the slack. The question Dennis raises and which should have been raised by the city council is why do we not have money for our parks when we have millions in tax breaks for real estate development and millions in outdoor advertising violations unpaid. Clearly parks aren't underfunded, we simply underfund them.Public/Private partnerships. At last week’s meeting of the L.A. City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, the term kept bobbing like a life preserver grasped for by city agencies at risk of drowning in a violent tide of red ink. Councilman Bill Rosendahl, speaking of the Recreation and Parks department, said that in the absence of such partnerships “we’re not going to be able to sustain our parks, it’s as simple as that.” The other committee members who spoke–Paul Koretz, Greig Smith, and Chairman Bernard Parks–all nodded assent to Rosendahl’s declaration, apparently feeling no need to examine either its truth or its implications for the city’s future. [More Here]