Class warfare in the park with Steve

Important information to understand this post: According to Wikipedia: “The median income for a household in the city was $117,267, and the median income for a family was $125,708. Males had a median income of $98,928 versus $51,853 for females. The per capita income for the city was $59,150. About 3.7% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.8% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over. The vast majority, 69.7% of persons had a Bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 27.2% at the national average, respectively.”

And obviously they don’t share, even when they are shared with:

“Patti Keating, a state parks official, researched the matter and told me San Marino is in the clear. She said that despite the city’s having received more than $600,000 in state funds for Lacy projects, state code allows a city to charge nonresident fees as long as they are reasonable and not excessive.

“If that raises your blood pressure, so will the tip I got from three readers:

“Even federal funds have been used to upgrade Lacy Park.

“This was confirmed by Elisa Vasquez and Linda Jenkins at the L.A. County Community Development Commission. They told me that San Marino has in the past received nearly $70,000 annually in Community Development Block Grants.

“Excuse me?

“The U.S. Housing and Urban Development website on the block grant program describes it as a way ‘to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities’ and as ‘an important tool for helping local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities.’

“One year, I’m told by Jenkins, San Marino used an unspecified portion of the federal grant for the serious challenge of building an apron around the Lacy Park playground. I guess this was so ‘the most vulnerable’ children of San Marino didn’t fall and rip their knickers.

“As with state money, the federal block grant program allows a city to charge nonresident fees as long as they’re reasonable and not excessive, according to Jenkins. But at both the state and federal levels, no legal definition of “reasonable” is provided.

“I would therefore like to argue, here in the court of public opinion, that there is nothing demonstrably ‘reasonable’ about the $4 weekend fee at Lacy Park.

“Does South Pasadena charge San Marinans and other nonresidents $4 to use the perfectly lovely Garfield Park? No.

“Does Los Angeles stick it to nonresidents who use the spectacular Griffith Park? Of course not.

“I’m told by Ballantyne that the weekend fee generates $60,000 a year. But the extra part-time staff needed on Saturdays and Sundays costs San Marino only $33,000.”
You paid for San Marino to play, by Steve Lopez, LA Times, December 26, 2007

Oh, San Marino, have you no shame? Guess not. Maybe the law on accepting taxpayer money for public spaces needs to change because San Marino certainly isn’t going to change.

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