As the Fresno Bee reports, the policy of asking nonprofits to take over certain aspects of local government functions and facilities, is growing, and that is a very good thing.
Instead of completely relying on the coercive tax base of taxpayer funded functions and facilities, being able to access a supplemental philanthropic, voluntary donation base, is good public policy.
It is already being used in Sacramento, with the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and the Sacramento Zoo, both under nonprofit control; and Gibson Ranch Park, which is under forprofit control.
It should be considered for the American River Parkway, which, in our strategy, we advocate to come under the control of a nonprofit contracting with a Joint Power Authority of the adjacent local governments.
An excerpt from the Fresno Bee article.
“A small group of people showed up Wednesday at Fresno City Hall for an informal public meeting on outsourcing the city’s remaining “flagship” community centers.
“City Hall has struggled with a budget crisis for several years, and officials about a year ago began looking for community-based organizations to take over operation of the Parks Department’s 10 neighborhood centers. Seven of them are now run by outside sources.
“City officials at the time, though, decided to retain operation of the seven larger, so-called “flagship” community centers. However, the city’s budget woes continue, and the City Council on April 7 approved outsourcing the operation of a flagship: the Mosqueda Center in southeast Fresno will be run by Reading and Beyond.
“Wednesday’s meeting let city officials gauge the interest among nonprofits for the other flagship centers. City officials also hoped representatives from nonprofits would connect and perhaps partner in running the centers.
“City officials said a nonprofit must have solid finances and sound management. A nonprofit also must provide a basic level of service but is encouraged to offer its own services, city officials said.
“Assistant City Manager/Interim Parks Director Bruce Rudd said the offer applies to the Frank H. Ball, Holmes, California/Elm, Ted C. Wills and Romain centers. He said the Dickey Youth Center isn’t included, in part because it’s home to some Parks administrators.”