Park going to the dogs?

Thank you for your very complete article on the proposed El Dorado Dog Park.
As mentioned in the article, the El Dorado Dog Park was approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission on the basis that no public funding would be used to build it. The Friends of El Dorado Dog Park assured the Commission they would not only raise the money to build the facility and the required parking lot, they would maintain, patrol and even scoop poop in the park.
It has now been revealed that not only is this private nonprofit being allowed exclusive use of public land for free, but $65,000, which should be used for the benefit of the entire Fourth District, are being earmarked to help build a Doggie Disneyland in El Dorado Park.
According to the Uplands Oil Funds Report given the Budget Oversight Committee, June 18, 2012, Councilman [Patrick] O’Donnell is planning on using all $16,667 of his district’s share of Neighborhood Services money, plus $31,300 of his district’s Infrastructure Repairs for the El Dorado Dog Park. The report notes that the “Project is estimated at $65,000, balance funded by the District’s discretionary infrastructure budget.” The inference is that in addition to $47,967 of Uplands Oil Funds, O’Donnell plans to gift the Friends with $17,033 more from his district office funds, which are supposed to be used for infrastructure in the 4th district!
This may not be General Fund money, but no matter what pot it comes from, this is public money, not O’Donnell’s private slush fund! There are many better uses for this money than a seventh dog park in an area which will jeopardize both the Nature Center and the Community Gardens. I would hope the Mayor and Council will see to it that this money does not go to the dogs.

Ann Cantrell
Long Beach

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