Float association needs community support

Apparently Ariel Drachenberg has conveniently forgotten about Glendale's Rose Parade floats of the recent past few years (“Rose floats should illustrate Glendale,” Feb. 9).

Just to remind Drachenberg, and maybe the residents of Glendale, here are some the floats that have explicitly promoted Glendale.

In 2009 for the theme “Hats Off to Entertainment,” the Glendale float was named “Sneak Preview” and named winner of Past Presidents' Trophy for Best Use of Floral and Non-Floral Material.

In 2008 for the theme “Passport to the World's Celebrations,” Glendale’s “Bon Voyage” was winner of Mayor's Trophy for Outstanding City Entry.

In 2007 for the theme “Our Good Nature,” Glendale’s “Our Bear Essentials” was winner of Governor's Trophy for Best Depiction of Life in California.

If Drachenberg had taken the time to look into what each of these floats mean to Glendale and how they represent Glendale to the world, I think their relevance would be clear. Each of these floats has shown to the world what Glendale was and is.

Seeking safe, beautiful neighborhoods for the residents and businesses is admirable, but that is on a different level of promoting the city to the world.

Now to the reality: The city of Glendale and the Glendale Rose Float Assn. are working partners in the presentation of the city's float.

The association is the sole fundraiser for the float and contributes 50% of the costs to the city.

The city contracts with float builder Phoenix Decorating of Pasadena to build the float. The association coordinates all of the other tasks associated with the float — theme design selection, volunteer float decorators, most of whom are Glendale residents and high school students, and most important: fundraising.

The city of Glendale is the second-longest continuous participant in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade — 99 years. The city of Los Angeles is first.

Due to the current state of the economy, the future of the Glendale Rose Parade float is in doubt. There is a lack of significant funds for future participation in the parade.

Please do not let the float go the way of the “Days of the Verdugos.” Once they're gone, we all lose.

Jim Sokoloff

Glendale

Editor’s note: Sokoloff is former assistant crew chief for the Glendale Rose Parade float.

Prop. 13 should be modified, not scrapped

We bought in 1986 so our property taxes aren't as low as Gerry Rankin's, but we share his concern for fair play (“Past Brown-era tax law is not sacrosanct,” Feb. 13.)

We really don't need to scrap Proposition 13 in its entirety to save California's schools and infrastructure; we need only split corporate-owned property from that owned by individuals. The unintended consequence of the 1978 initiative is that corporate-owned property is now assessed at roughly 60% of its value.

Corporations rarely die, especially those set up specifically to own property. Humans do not live nearly as long, plus they move around a lot more. Because each new owner has a new assessment, individually owned homes eventually are assessed at current value. Giant corporations continue to enjoy the benefits of doing business in a society paid for by younger families like Rankin's neighbors.

Urge your representatives in Sacramento to modify Proposition 13 to require corporate-owned property to be reassessed every five or seven years or so. Meanwhile, you can donate to local nonprofits what you would pay in property taxes if your home were reassessed each year.

If you don't have the extra cash, you can volunteer your time. Property taxes used to support our schools, so the Glendale Educational Foundation is a good choice.

Sharon Weisman

Glendale

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