Blakeslee bill provides alternatives if State parks are closed

April 25, 2011

Sam Blakeslee

With budget cuts threatening California’s state parks, State Sen. Sam Blakeslee is supporting a bill to give local governments or private contractors a chance to take over operations of a closed state park for one to five years. [MercuryNews]

A California State University study says the annual spending resulting from visits to state parks runs an average of $6.9 billion a year, Blakeslee said. Cities such as Morro Bay rely on the economic boost from nearby parks.

Blakeslee’s SB356 would require the state to give counties and cities a chance to take over operations of closed parks and encourage the use of local workers and volunteers, according to the Mercury News.

Critics of the bill, question whether Republicans are seeking to privatize state parks.

Blakeslee contends his bill concentrates on local government and volunteer involvement in part to allay fears about the profit motive.

“There’s a lot of opportunity to expand volunteerism,” he said to the Mercury News.

In 2009, about 100 of the state’s 279 parks were slated for closure to help balance the budget. Even though the shutdowns were prevented by a one-time budget move, 60 parks were partially closed.

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It does seem that politicians take aim at the general public when they cut. It seems to me that drastically simplifying the tax code so that there are very few exemptions and deductions so that all of us pay a low percentage would provide more than enough money.

Very few exemptions and lowering rates is a good start to a simple tax code. However, it doesn’t raise any more money unless someone pays more – that’s a tax increase. That’s not necessarily bad, but it needs to be called what it is. Without an increase in taxes, the balancing must be done with cuts alone. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either, but people need to know.

This is simply a dirty threat. There’s plenty of cuts to be had, but they are choosing to threaten us instead with cutting a popular service. Close Sacramento. Heads on a stick!

I find it interesting that the cuts are almost ways aimed at fear for the general taxpayers. Lay off teachers, close schools, up tuition or allow more out of state students, close parks, etc. How about all the commissions, committees,boards, etc. I believe they had over 2500 of these items all with 6-8 or more members, some paid as high as $250,000 – $300,000 annually, and the support staff. How about limiting the days the politicians are in Sac to bi-monthly and take half of their pay and eliminate half their staff. There are so many ways to make REALLY cuts, like permanent cuts.

Funny how that works isn’t it? The ones screaming cut, cut, cut are the ones making healthy six figure a year salaries and put us where we are currently. If they had such great ideas then why are we in trouble? BMP’s or SNAFU?

SLO going broke, Katie makes $324K per year with her golden package.

San Dist going broke,laying off staff yet contract management as only one source of expense makes $600,000 at a minimum designing projects that do/have done NOTHING for the efflulent quality which has suffered since the mid 90ies..

OCSD, Whats Monte make these days or Cooney or whoever else was behind the controls for decades as they went under silently? hoo no new houses being built? try planning for a rainy day next time and not living on speculation of what might happen in the future,same for GB.

You name it, their in trouble and who’s all to blame, retirees and us working pee on’s and never management and their screw ups.


Just like in days of old, if it is going to happen it will take volunteers and that is a good thing.