Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Gibson Ranch Privatization

Hopefully, the County will not follow the advice reported in this article in the Sacramento Bee, and fully consider the proposition for privatization which is on the table and appears—given the very limited information publically available—to be one that is good for everyone.

That the project for privatization is headed by former public servant Doug Ose, who has an excellent history of caring for and helping the regional community, is reassuring.

An excerpt.

“If developer and former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose hopes to take over Gibson Ranch Park, it will be against the advice of Sacramento County officials and a special committee.

“The head of the county's Regional Parks Department and an outside advisory committee are recommending that the Board of Supervisors reject Ose's proposal to run the Elverta park as a for-profit venture.

“In addition, they are calling on the supervisors to broaden the search for organizations to run the park.

“The supervisors are scheduled to discuss Ose's proposal at today's board meeting.

"It's really not in the best interest of the county or community for the long term," said Janet Baker, Regional Parks director.

“County officials have been looking to offload responsibility for the 350- acre park since June, when supervisors passed a budget stripping the park's funding.

“At that time, the cash-strapped county asked for proposals. The bids were due in early September – about the time the park closed to the general public. Ultimately, only Ose submitted a bid to take over Gibson Ranch.

“The county had asked interested organizations to submit plans showing how they would operate the park under a five-year concession agreement, with the possibility of receiving two five-year extensions. Park officials want the option to take the park back when finances improve or possibly to include Gibson Ranch in a regional park system if voters approve such a district.

"Mr. Ose's proposal is very, very different," Baker said.

“County officials are refusing to make Ose's proposal public until after the board votes on it.

“County Counsel Robert Ryan said the county's policy is to not release proposals until the board acts on a staff recommendation. Even though Ose is the only bidder in this case, if the board rejects his proposal, the information could give competitors an unfair advantage in a second round of bidding, he said.”