Assemblyman Gordon pushes proposal to help keep California state parks open

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May 4, 2012

By Bob Difley

In a previous post, More California State Parks Crossed Off the Closure List, I wrote about the new California Assembly bill AB-42, which enables California State Parks to work with non-profit organizations to operate state parks until more permanent funding is found. The post also showed how a creative parks director can inspire her staff to come up with creative and non-traditional ways to keep the parks open.

Following that line, Assemblyman Richard Gordon, D-Redwood City, pushed a proposal through the budget subcommittee that he chairs that would encourage a more entrepreneurial spirit among the supervisors and staff in the state park system. Resulting from discussions in staff meetings, Gordon realized that their was no incentive for park operators to work at creating ways to bring more paying customers into the parks, since the additional funds collected disappeared into the general fund.

So a new plan emerged, one in which 50% of the increase in revenue from events, promotions, etc. stays with the individual park to cover their budget shortfalls or to be used for infrastructure repair. The proposal, however is not a slam dunk. It first has to be included in the legislature’s final budget. But it does seem to be another step in the right direction, of individuals putting their heads together to accomplish something that the legislature can’t. And if this works out, hopefully these kind of creative ideas could spread to other states who also are having trouble keeping their parks open.

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  1. Norma Mitchell

    They want more taxes and will use any means to get them…..

  2. Tom S

    Since this is an RV blog, I would be curious as to how many of the state parks in CA that had camping were under threat of closing.

    CA often times would make any wayside that had three rocks in a pile and known to have Indians stop and smoke peyote a state park.

    Maybe some of them should be closed.

  3. hoppe

    I find myself wondering at the lack of intelligence, when people blame the liberals, or any one group for a problem. If you look at the problems that exist it has more to do with Politicians who sell out to special interest groups and Corporations.

    This is NOT a one side of the isle problem. I has more to do with Greed, and corruption. Add to those two, the Religious Beliefs that are brought into the Governing Processes, and you have a purely Ignorant Legislative Body of Work.

    Bottom line on the Parks, they are stripping the funds to spend elsewhere. All the Noise about closings is just an excuse to raise prices to the users. They have NO intention of closing them and losing a revenue stream. If they close them they’d have to tax the Corporations and the Rich to replace the lost revenue, and we all know they couldn’t possible do that, now could they?

    If you want proof of influence peddling just look at the ‘retirement’ incomes, and positions of the ex legislators. Not Enough proof? Look at how much they spend to get elected.

    We just need to flush the whole mess and start over.

  4. Glen Jones

    If the politicians quit pocketing the money or useing it for their pet projects there
    would be plenty for parks

  5. Elmo Laayman

    I have seen this at work in Az. I wonder why it takes legislators so long to figure it out.

  6. HB

    This situation in California ,with the State Parks,exists simply because the Politicians WANT IT THAT WAY. THEY, the politicians , are the ones that took the money generated by the parks to pay other bills or fund other “pet” programs.They and they alone are responsible for this problem.The “so-called Liberals” are destroying this country! This NEEDS to change before this country has NOTHING for the public, except “BIG GOVERNMENT” ! (Just my opinion)

  7. butterbean carpenter

    Howdy Bob,
    Yep, a good plan.. Another way the politicians can control the parks personnel..
    Keep it out of the legislature and no paper trail…