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Unclassified Info: Imagine all the money . . .

June 20, 2011|By Gary Huerta

I’m not a big traditionalist. Nor am I prone to let sentimentality get in the way of progress. So it will come as no real surprise that I am in favor of Glendale not funding a Rose Parade float and severing its 98-year tie to the annual event.

I think the City Council has it right in wanting to allocate the $130,000 subsidy for other things. And frankly, I don’t really care what the money is used for, so long as it isn’t a gas-powered, saccharin floral interpretation of the 2012 parade theme, which is “Just Imagine…”

I can admit the float provides a teeny bit of civic pride. But wouldn’t something like a renovated playground, which thousands of kids could use to have fun and exercise for years to come, do that more effectively? Wouldn’t we feel smarter knowing our money went for something that lasted beyond high noon on Jan. 1?

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Personally, I have no idea how a bunch of flowers and chicken wire lumbering down Colorado Boulevard can be deemed an economic development tool. Last year’s float was so utterly forgettable that I don’t even remember what it looked like. And I wrote about it!

Sorry. But I’m not buying into the notion that a six-figure float is good for our local economy. When was the last time you heard anyone say, “I packed up the car and came to Glendale because I saw the city’s float in the Rose Parade.” Heck, we could probably spin our decision not to participate into an even more compelling public relations story.

Think about it. If you heard another city was using $130,000 to enrich children’s lives instead of building a floral arrangement that lasted two days, would you think that was a smart city? Or would you criticize their lack of civic pride?

The float is a pet project for a select few with a price tag that is simply too high for a city like ours with much to do and not enough money to go around. Best to leave the floats to Corporate America sponsorships. The hard truth is the parade will go on, and our presence will not be missed.

Speaking of things that shouldn’t be on the road …

Since Angeles Crest Highway officially reopened earlier this month, I have made three trips into the mountains. Two times I’ve ridden my motorcycle, and one time I took the family in my Volvo wagon. Can you guess which trip was more frightening?

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