City of Burbank Rose Parade float expense $67,500.. city of Mission Viejo $300,000

As we interview candidates for elected office to see how they compare I have recently undertaken a similar investigation of float entries for this year’s 120th Tournament of Roses Parade.  To date I have covered the CA cities of Roseville, Long Beach and Mission Viejo. Wow!

The Jan 1, 2009 “Grand Prize”winner for “biggest municipal spender” will be the city of Mission Viejo who has budgeted $300,000.

I just spoke to an employee at the finance department of the City of Burbank and was told that their Park’s and Rec’s budget for their “Three D Double Feature” 2009 Rose Parade float is $67,500. They utilize the Burbank Tournament of Roses Association, BTORA, that works directly with the float builders. Compare the following Burbank float dates to Mission Viejo. Burbank:
“On May 14, 2008 the final line drawing was released.”
“On July 3rd the final color rendering was released.”

According to information from the City of Long Beach their “Passport to the Pacific” entry has a spending cap set at $115,000 “for the design and construction of their float.”

In addition to their Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach has a Convention Center, the Queen Mary and the Long Beach Grand Prix to promote.

We have a Mission Viejo city council meeting this coming Monday. As Agenda’s must be posted 72 hours before meetings I visited city hall this morning to pick up a copy and to see if a Contract for Fiesta Float was to be presented. The records coordinator confirmed that “the float Contract is not on the Agenda” as “we have yet to select a design.”  Therefore there is no Contract for the public or council to see.

Hmm. Our next normal scheduled council meeting will be Sept 1st while item #5 of the Fiesta Float Timeline for the Mission Viejo float reads: By mid-summer, the float is quickly taking shape.”

I guess the rubber stamp majority will eventually approve a Contract and we will incur overtime costs due to the delay in exposing this, yet to be approved, design effort.

Something to consider. For every elected local and County, or CRA and  OCGOP, official considering an endorsment for any of our council members who go along with this expenditure risk their own credibility for knowingly endorsing those who vote approval of this waste of taxpayers money.

In his letter to me even our former city manager stated that “you and I agree that this council puts previous ones to shame with their spending habits. I agree that the expenses you mention are rediculous. With the current state of the economy, you’d think they would restrain themselves for political purposes if nothing else. “

While Dan Joseph and I had many disagreements, when it relates to our recent uncontrolled spending we are on the same page.

Which members of our city council do you think will vote approval of this budgeted $300,000 float contract?

About Larry Gilbert