A great post over at Ban Billboard Blight about the move to allow advertising in Los Angeles Public Parks.
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 being drowned 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.
That’s too bad, because Rosendahl’s statement amounts to embrace of the idea that a large, modern, wealthy city will have to go hat in hand to corporate boardrooms in order to provide one of the most public and democratic–and many would say, essential–services to its citizens. In the picture painted by the silver tongue of Barry Sanders, the retired corporate lawyer and president of the Recreation and Parks Commission, this means some signs in the parks thanking Wells Fargo and Ralph’s and Taco Bell and whomever else rides to the rescue. “In my view, thanking a sponsor is not blight,” Sanders said. “A closed swimming pool on Monday is blight.”