Trouble in rose float land

Having watched the city of Glendale budget session on television, I would like to clarify a few points.

The Glendale Rose Float Assn. was formed in 1978 to help offset the cost of the Glendale float in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. It was never in our by-laws to pay half the cost to the city.

Councilman Dave Weaver, in his seemingly pompous way, stated that the wrong people are running the Glendale Rose Float Assn. He said that corporate presidents who know something about fundraising should be in charge. Maybe so. On the other hand, the association has always had on its board hard-working and caring members of the community.

We are just volunteers who donate our time all year long without making a single dime from our efforts to promote and raise monies through membership and fundraising events for the city’s float. Unfortunately, although we have tried, we couldn’t secure 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, which makes fundraising from large corporations difficult. I might also mention that there is not a single member of the City Council that is a member of our association, including Weaver, who oversees the decorating of the float.

In the budget session, it was stated that the city purchased T- shirts. One year the city purchased T-shirts as a reward for the decorators. All of the other years, the Rose Float association purchased shirts, magnets and pins as a reward to our members. We sold these items to interested parties at functions and at local merchants who supported us. We also donated pins and shirts out of our costs to be given to the decorators.

Weaver said that the Glendale Rose Float Assn. was surviving on his efforts from the “Dreaming of Roses” event that he organized under the umbrella of the association, which was a great event. I applaud him for his efforts. Then he took his event and walked away from the organization after a dispute over reporting revenues generated from donors.

It has been stated that the Glendale Rose Float Assn. will not be supporting the float this year. This is partially true. We have backed away from the project based on the city telling us that we would be responsible for $50,000 next May, and that after July 1 this year, they would not offer any city support on our behalf, which includes securing of permits, transportation of riders, arranging for the float to be brought back to Glendale after the parade and many other details all in the name of the city of Glendale float.

We as a board cannot take on that responsibility.

Garry E. Ackerman


Editor’s note: Ackerman is the president of the Glendale Rose Float Assn.

Council spends, spends, spends

The city is broke, but the City Council keeps giving taxpayer money away to developers. If the council wants to help businesses in Glendale, then get rid of your parking meters and go back to 90 minutes or two-hour free parking on Brand Boulevard.

Burbank seems to have a better understanding of what business-friendly means. In Glendale, if you want free parking, you can walk three blocks. In Burbank, you can park in front of the business that you are going to and walk right in. That is a winning proposition for the business and the consumer.

The City Council seems to have the “build it and they will come” mentality. What would make more sense is selling commercial real estate for full price, not giving handouts to businesses in the guise of urban renewal.

Most business owners come up with their own capital. We need to break this ludicrous cycle of handing out taxpayer money like candy in the hopes that it has a bigger payout down the road. I find it striking that no one on the City Council seems to be concerned about the disruption, noise and dirt that existing businesses will have to suffer with during the construction of yet another loft/retail venture in Glendale.

Most of us are struggling in this economy. But that hasn't stopped the City Council from coming up with new fees for taxpayers. All the while they take our money and spend, spend, spend.

Lisa Charles


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