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As Expenses Balloon, A Push to Better Fund LA's Parks

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The beleaguered Recreation and Parks department, which has faced major belt-tightening, will see its budget goosed by nearly $9 million--from $179M to $188M--under the mayor's proposed budget. But that won't be enough to turn things around, according to a group of park supporters and labor folks, who threw a press conference today at City Hall to advocate for more green for green space, reports KPCC. The problem is that department's expenses have exploded, thanks to "an increasingly burdensome amount for city services like water, electricity, sanitation and retirement benefits over the last few years." In three years, the Parks Dept.'s expenses for city services went from $3 million to $44 million (that's nearly a 1,400% increase, according to our bad math), after the City Council voted to make the department pay for its use of some city services, like water and trash pickup. Currently, the department receives at least 0.0325 percent of the assessed value of all property in LA--City Councilmember Eric Garcetti will introduce a motion tomorrow to seek out funding alternatives for Parks and Rec.
· Coalition: Parks Funding Must Be a Priority [KPCC]