Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Privatizing Gibson Park & Other News

As this story in today’s Sacramento Bee notes, the only proposal submitted to take over Gibson Park would privatize it, and if that works to keep this beloved park open to the public, that is very good news.

The grassroots group formed to examine how to increase taxes—which is very bad news—to fund regional parks is also considering a nonprofit conservancy, which is very good news.

We commented on this group earlier.

An excerpt from today’s Bee story.

“Sacramento County only received one bid from someone looking to take over Gibson Ranch – a proposal from former Rep. Doug Ose, a developer who wants to run the public park as a for-profit venture.

“This revelation, which county parks officials mentioned at a Tuesday hearing on the future of regional parks, leaves the Board of Supervisors with few clear options for the park, which supervisors have already determined they can't afford to keep open. The head of county parks, Janet Baker, said her department doesn't have a backup plan and officials aren't sure what they'll do if Ose's proposal doesn't pass….”.

“A grass-roots working group of parks supporters has started the legwork to get an initiative on the ballot in November 2012, which – if passed – could create a regional park district similar to the East Bay Regional Park District. The working group updated supervisors on its progress at Tuesday's board meeting.

“Thanks to $50,000 in donations, the group has commissioned the Trust for Public Land to study the feasibility of several options for structuring a new district and to essentially poll public opinion to see if a measure might pass.

“Another consultant is preparing a budget estimate and studying a nonprofit conservancy option.”