Skip to comments.Donors who bailed out California state parks want their money back
Posted on 07/28/2012 11:29:00 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
Betrayed by the discovery of $54 million hidden in two state parks accounts, groups that donated money to keep California state parks from closing this year now say they want a refund -- or at least a binding promise from lawmakers to spend the extra money on parks.
"They sort of came to us under false pretenses. They cried wolf, and we responded," said Reed Holderman, executive director of the Sempervirens Fund. "An elegant solution would be for them to refund the nonprofits, and put whatever is left into parks."
State Parks Director Ruth Coleman resigned Friday and her top deputy was fired after Gov. Jerry Brown's administration announced the state parks department had kept $54 million in two accounts without reporting it to the state Department of Finance.
Brown announced last year that the state was so short of cash that 70 state parks -- one-quarter of the entire system -- had to be closed by July 1 to save $22 million. Critics called the threat a political gimmick to convince middle-class voters to support Brown's tax increase measure on the upcoming November ballot.
Reportedly, $20.4 million of the unreported money was from state park entry fees traditionally used to fund parks. Another $33.5 million comes from registration of off-highway vehicles and used to fund parks for motorcycles and dune buggies.
"The $20 million, that money came from folks visiting the parks, spending money at the parks. It's obvious it should be used for state parks."
State legislative leaders were noncommittal on Thursday.
"There's no determination at this point," said a spokesman for state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. "The priority is to get to the bottom of the situation and figure out what happened. And then we go from there."
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
California, Here I Con.
I’ll bet he gets a refund check on Monday.
Anyone who gave money to bail out the parks can only be called stupid.
Old Jer is going to give a free ride on the high speed railroad to everyone who donated money to the parks.
Hard to say what qualifies as the most stupid:
- trusting Democrat politicians in California
- actually believing that state parks would close down without donations
- enabling fiscal malfeasance by contributing money to the financial basket case that is the state of California
I always thought the lottery was the way to extract money from the stupid - apparently California has gone that scam one better.
So anyone who pi$$...I mean gave their money to the parks preservation are going to be railroaded?
Darn...I wish I’d gotten to them first. I have a bridge...
Response from wife: That's really bad!
Now that one of the Government Agency’s of California has been caught lying about it’s finances I find myself wondering out loud, “How many others are doing the same thing?”
The California state fish is the Sucker.
And yes, I do know that Barney Frank is not from California.
Which is precisely why the government should not get an additional dime from anybody.
They are always crying wolf to get more of our money.
Something tells me the CA Dept of Education benefited from this scam, somehow. They can smell ‘revenue’ a mile away.
Here in NJ & NY the beaches and parks are held hostage; rather than close them they just increase the fees (as they do the tolls, both of which are OK by me).
The elected California criminals at all levels of government have been playing that game too long. It should be automatic cause for losing your position, elected or otherwise:
When there is a budget shortfall, they immediately eliminate the services most essential for the health and welfare of EVERYONE... sewage treatment, water supply, trash pickup, street sweeping, street lights, traffic lights, police and fire services, but maintain funding to other discretionery and useless programs and agencies.
We, the people, must find a way to eliminate that. Permanently. And insist on an adequate reserve in times of plenty, and reduce all taxes when tere is a real surplus.
Today, taxes are NEVER reduced. If there is a surplus, THEY IMMEDIATELY LOOK AROUND FOR SOMETHING TO SPEND IT ON. Ever wonder why budgets can never be lower?
Why have we settled for governance by spoiled teenagers?
Safe bet--- All of them!
The Washington Monument syndrome. Dippy Libs fall for it every time.
I went camping last week with about 35 other people, family and friends, just got back.
To a wilderness area in No Calif, a state park actually.
There were signs saying the park is not maintained, if you pack it in, pack it out.
Fine, no problem.
There are outhouses there too, and they don’t pump them either. Pretty dicey.
Funny, back in the day, there was a town there.
After a day or so, coming back from the beach to camp, I saw a ranger’s truck. They were at a campsite. I didn’t know what they were doing.
Found out soon enough. There was a sign when entering the park that there was a fee. Heh, never paid one in the past.
Soon the Rangers came to our camp, they were there to collect the fees.
25 bucks a day for the first vehicle, 8 a day for the rest.
We ended up paying about $250 after figuring out how may days each vehicle was going to be there.
What a ripoff, especially now that they “found” millions of dollars they could use to maintain the parks.
My son asked what they are charging the fee for, if they don’t do anyhing to keep the park up.
We figured it out.
The fees must go to their pay for coming and getting the money from us.
Other than that, we all had a great time. Surf fishing, fishing, boating, dirt bike riding and going in the ocean.
We had a great camp, over 20 tents.
Cooked surf fish over the campfire, and every area had someone cooking almost all the time.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.