Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

Additional property taxes are never really welcome. At least, one could assume that the money goes toward the right things, but when stories like this come out, it makes me wonder. Are our public servants serving the city's best interests? 

Proposition O is a bulk of public money put towards increased water quality and every so often oversight committees meet to determine how that money should be spent exactly. After combing through minutes and agendas, I realized what I really wanted to see was an easy to read document detailing possible projects, acreage, proposed budget requested and some agreed metric that shows how big a difference it would actually make. That way, I know without a shadow of a doubt that public money is being spent on the things that actually matter, not to further political agendas.

This story found me combing through so many public documents and having to run after sources. It was tiring, but I hope it at least provoked some good questions. 


Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Yosuke Kitazawa
Published: 25 Apr 2013, KCET

The dreams of creating a 100-acre green open space that truly connects to the Los Angeles River seem to be dying of a long, lingering disease. Last month, the Proposition O Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee (COAC) and Administrative Oversight Committee (AOC) approved zeroing out the funds set aside for the purchase of Taylor Yard's 44-acre G2 parcel. The committee agreed to move $11.455 million of the budget to another phase of the Albion Dairy Project, and the remaining $985,000 to Prop O Contingency funds.

This marks the second time Taylor Yard funds were used towards Albion Dairy. In 2009, $12.56 million of Prop O funds were similarly transferred to complete the acquisition of a 6.34-acre Albion Dairy property, bringing the total purchase price to $17.56 million, 12 percent over the property's appraised value of $15.9 million. What was once a formidable $25 million budget set aside to purchase and build what is repeatedly called the "crown jewel" of the Los Angeles River is now a line item that simply reads TBD. [read more]


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