Pasadena to Shed Links, Gun Range

Times Staff Writer

Brookside Municipal Golf Course will be turned over to a private operator and the Police Department's pistol range will be sold, but the fate of the city's Health Department and paramedic service remained uncertain last week after a public hearing by the Board of City Directors on eight controversial proposed budget cuts.

Turning over the operation of Brookside to a private firm is expected to save the city $450,000. Selling the police pistol range, which sits on prime land in Eaton Canyon, could bring the city as much as $750,000. By these and other prospective trims, city officials have said they hope to save more than $1 million and streamline city government.

In deciding to relinquish the day-to-day operations of the golf course, the board also promised to find spots in other city departments for 17 maintenance workers now employed at Brookside.

Several community activists from northwest Pasadena, which is populated predominantly by racial minorities, had opposed turning the golf course over to private management because they feared that the maintenance workers, many of them black, would be forced out of their jobs.

A decision on who will operate the golf course will not be made until August. Four private firms that submitted bids for the service have been asked to revise their estimates in order to meet a list of new specifications recently added to the contract by city officials.

Amid public outcry, the board has been grappling for more than two months with the issue of cutting city services to balance next year's budget. Controversy has centered on the Health Department and paramedic services, with advocates for both lobbying City Hall to lower its blue pencil somewhere else on the budget.

At the hearing, the Board of City Directors delayed action on the Health Department, paramedics, and the city prosecutor's office.

After reviewing a 15-page report by City Manager Donald McIntyre on eliminating the services, contracting with Los Angeles County or turning the services over to private industry, the board also voted to:

-Postpone indefinitely a decision on whether to keep the 52-employee Health Department or contract with the county, pending further negotiations with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

-Delay for two weeks a decision on consolidating paramedics with the Fire Department or turning over the service to a private ambulance company, pending further deliberations with both groups.

-Postpone until July 30 a decision on whether to turn over prosecution of misdemeanor violations of state law to the Los Angeles County district attorney. Transferring those duties from the city prosecutor is expected to save about $400,000. Such a transfer, however, must also be approved by the voters as an amendment to the City Charter.

-Eliminate the city's lamp sales and appliance repair shop; retain the city's print shop, but contract with private firms when their bids are lower than city printing costs, and ask the Housing Mediation Board to consult with a private company to devise a cheaper way of handling landlord/tenant disputes.

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