Sacramento Bee on Gibson Ranch, Wrong Again!

The Sacramento Bee—which inexplicably, does not like Gibson Ranch Park being operated as a forprofit, even though it is now open and being highly utilized by area residents, whereas before it was closed—ran an editorial yesterday, entitled “Back at Gibson Ranch, little county oversight”, which is apparently not quite accurate, as the response in the comments section from Doug Ose notes:

His response.

“Dear Pia –

“Once again you nitpick based on ignorance. You really should just pick up the phone and call me if you have questions.

“First and foremost, the County has received a monthly statement detailing all income and expenses including the names and amounts paid for all checks issued. The information forwarded to the County contains a precise breakdown of the monies collected for the Equestrian Trust Fund as well as a detailed listing to the penny of any expenditures made therefrom. This is precisely what was agreed to when the lease was executed. The reporting being provided dwarfs by orders of magnitude any reporting being provided to the County under any other existing County park lease with any of your beloved nonprofit organizations. I request that you cease and desist from impugning my character by suggesting that I am engaged in financial shenanigans.

“Second, the park is open every day, something that was not occurring prior to April 1, 2011. I fail to understand why you continue to object to the park being open.

“Third, the park is clean, the grass is mowed, the bathrooms are clean. I wonder how that compares to the parks you are operating.

“Your comments regarding the open ditches reflect the fact that you still have not visited Gibson Ranch since my team took it over. Prior to April 1, under the supervision of the former Parks Director, the irrigation ditches were dredged by the County, significantly enlarging the ditches and turning them into public hazards. The project being contemplated would eliminate the public hazard while preserving the ability to irrigate the pastures on the property. There are no marshlands within the area being irrigated by the ditches in question.

“The main challenge to local government remains that their obligations exceed their revenues. At Gibson Ranch, the County was budgeting over $200,000 per year to keep the park closed. The lease with me requires the County to pay up to $100,000 per year to correct deferred maintenance that accumulated prior to April 1, 2011. That is a net savings to the County of over $100,000 per year. And, the park is open. And, the accumulated deferred maintenance is being repaired.

“When we had lunch at the Crocker Art Museum prior to the Board’s action to approve the proposed lease, I asked you what was the plan you wished to propose as an alternative to the one I was proposing. I appreciated your candor in admitting that you had no plan and that it was not your responsibility to create a solution that opens the park. Six months later, it is clear now that your only plan has been to use the bullhorn of the Sacramento Bee Editorial Page to advocate for new taxes dedicated to parks maintenance and operations on the November 2012 ballot. It must be frustrating for you to see my team PROVING EVERY DAY THAT NO SUCH NEW TAXES ARE NEEDED.

“Have a nice day..”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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