City Rejects Davis’ Offer to Help Paint Recreation Center

Gov.-elect Gray Davis may have the same name as an achromatic shade, but he’s no painter--at least not a professional one. Which means he won’t be allowed to slap some paint on a city recreation center when he and his wife, Sharon, spiff up a small part of Los Angeles on Saturday.

The Davises will instead paint the Wilton Elementary School--picked because their first choice, the Echo Park Recreation Center, gave them a last-minute brushoff.

City Recreation and Parks Assistant General Manager George Stigile said the department requires that its recreation centers be painted only by department maintenance people or contractors “to ensure the quality of the job.” He said the department was willing to let Davis and the 80 or so other prospective volunteers plant flower beds, build planters and even paint a mural inside the building.

But not paint like painters paint.


L.A. Works, the volunteer group that was handling the project, decided to go to the Wilton school because volunteers like to paint. “It’s an art to create good volunteer projects,” said Donna Bojarsky, co-chairwoman of L.A. Works. Stigile said his department uses thousands of volunteers, and anything they do helps build community spirit.

Well, almost anything. “The one thing we don’t allow is painting of the buildings,” he said.