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Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

If you wonder why your local park looks like crap, read this:

Just some of the services we no longer receive in Los Angeles parks are listed below. These losses are a direct result of the City's "chargeback" policy against the Dept. of Recreation and Parks.

Note: Text in italics and choice of image is ours. Typos are probably ours.



FISCAL YEAR (FY) 2008-09 TO 2013-14

(RAP has) Paid $151 million to City General Fund in support costs (refuse collection, utility, pension, health care and fleet costs). These funds were previously used to provide RAP services to City of Los Angeles residents.
  • Elimination of all City Public Building Landscape Services (proposed for FY 2013-14).
  • Elimination of Landscape Services provided to the Police Administration Building (proposed for FY 2013-14).
  • Functional Transfer of recreational and maintenance services provided by RAP at seven (7) Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) sites to non-profit or others (RAP proposed the functional transfer of three (3) sites for FY 2013-14).
  • Reduction of Clean and Safe Spaces (CLASS) Parks, recreational programming and maintenance services at seven (7) HACLA sites.
  • Reduction of CLASS Parks programming at all sites (proposed for FY 2013-14).
  • Eliminated Pedal Boat service at Balboa, Echo Park, and MacArthur Lakes.
  • Eliminated Licensed Child Care services at 24 sites.
  • Eliminated Therapeutic specialized services at three (3) sites.
  • Eliminated all Citywide Sports Tournaments.
  • Closed Observatory two (2) days per week.
  • Closed recreation centers & EXPO on Sundays and Holidays.
  • Closed year round pools on Mondays and shortened the summer aquatic season from 10 weeks to eight (8) weeks.
  • Closed 15 year round pools for three weeks during the winter break.
  • Reduced seasonal pool operations by two (2) hours on weekends and by one (l) hour on weekdays.
  • Closed Central Pool.
  • Converted Peck Park, Hubert Humphrey and Glassell Pools from year round to seasonal.
  • Reduced CLASS parks program from 47 to 37.
  • Eliminated special event co-sponsorship (i.e. Salute to Recreation, Lotus Festival, etc).
  • Eliminated staffing at all skate parks except one.
  • Reduced summer bus trips for economically disadvantaged youth and eliminated senior citizen bus trips.
  • Implemented fee increases for recreation programs, facility use, and staff support.
  • Reduced Ranger services to assignment at Griffith Park only.
  • Reduced dedicated staff at Senior Centers (programming conducted by part-time staff).
  • Consolidated and clustered recreational staff at centers (less full-time recreational staff dedicated to each site) which lessens the hours and types of programming offered.
  • Reduced equity programs such as Girls Play LA, and other low cost opportunities for disadvantaged areas.
  • Eliminated RAP Senior Nutrition Program and some social services.
  • Eliminated the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
  • Routed maintenance staff which reduces the "presence" of RAP staff at the park which leads to "dead park" situations.
  • Reduced maintenance cleaning services provided at recreation centers! parks including: cleaning of restrooms from three (3) times per day to one-time per day, less frequent detailing of restrooms and buildings, removal of debris and trash, cleaning of gym floors, walls and other areas.
  • Reduced land maintenance activities at parks including: routine maintenance, cleaning of children's play areas, refurbishment of play fields; and closure of other heavily used areas until they can be made safe and sanitary.
  • Reduced facility repairs including: roofing, lighting, electrical, graffiti removal, broken windows, etc.
  • Reduced hours of operation at region headquarters by one hour.
  • Eliminated Wonderful Outdoor World (WOW) camping program.
  • Reduced residential summer camp program and boys and girls camps by one day.
  • Reduced hours of operation at Banning Museum and Civil War Drum Barracks by three (3) hours a week each.
  • Reduced summer youth fishing program at Cabrillo Beach during the summer (last one was in 2008. This was offered to day camp youth from recreation centers throughout the City).
  • Cut field supervision (recreation districts by a supervisor) from 13 to 11. Also eliminated the Recreation Supervisor positions that specifically oversaw the services for the Camping Division and the Senior Citizen Division. These responsibilities are now absorbed by field supervisors effective February 28, 2011.
  • Eliminated Public Restroom Enhancement Program (PREP).
  • Restrooms are being cleaned once a day instead of three (3) times a day and detailing of restrooms and buildings has become less frequent.
  • Hiking and equestrian trails do not receive routine maintenance.
  • Recreation facilities (interior) receive minimal maintenance (no detail cleaning).
  • Hardscape stains remain much longer as we are unable to pressure wash on a regular basis.
  • Sandbox maintenance is greatly impacted as sand is screened twice a week instead of three (3) times a week.
  • Picnic areas receive minimal attention (unable to remove coals on a regular basis).
  • Litter debris remain much longer on grounds, and trash cans overflow during the summer.
  • Harvesting of aquatic vegetation at Machado Lake has not been performed in Fiscal Years 2008-09, 2009-10, or 2010-11.
  • Motor sweeping of RAP parking lots has been reduced.
  • List of athletic fields to be refurbished has been reduced by 25%.
  • Line trimming and detailing of planter beds now occur on an as-needed basis instead of weekly.
  • Grading of ball diamonds now takes place on an as-needed basis instead of monthly.
  • Tree work is only being done on demand and on an emergency basis. The Forestry Division has been forced to abandon all preventative tree maintenance. This is exposing both our staff and patrons to an increased risk due to potential tree hazards. Additionally, due to reduced tree care staff, our backlog of tree-related emergencies has grown and our ability to respond in a timely manner has been compromised significantly.
  • Loss of pest control staff has forced us to drastically reduce our preventative gopher and ground squirrel control operations as well as insect and rodent control services at our recreation centers. The result has been an increase in the number of County Health citations received by the Department.
  • RAP's ability to meet its water conservation goals has been compromised due to the reduction in trained staff to make irrigation system repairs and adjustments in a timely manner. The delays result in a waste of water and/or loss of turf and plant material.