The voted to approve an agreement with Parks & Rec Marketing for the supervision and sale of advertising banners in city parks. The Glendale based business will be signing their contract at the end of the week and residents will most likely begin to see banners in a month or so.
“The idea is to help cities raise money for the parks and recreation department by selling some banner adds for the parks,” said Rich Jessup, owner of Parks & Rec Marketing. “Before, cities were not in such dire need of funds, but now almost every city is having problems.”
The money gathered from the ads will go towards the Park Enhancement Fund, which was created to receive the rent money from pays to the city for operating its business on municipal land. The fund is strictly only to be used for park and recreation improvement purposes.
The agreement was approved by three of the councilmembers, with only voting against due to worries about the parks aesthetic.
“I am just concerned that with this advertising we are not going to maintain the integrity of the park,” said Morales, who further admitted that the park had been a positive influence on him while growing up. “It just makes it difficult for me to think that there may be something that could get in the way of the environment as an open space.”
Virginia Johnson, a resident of South Gate, also voiced her concern over this decision and agreed with the aesthetics concern.
“I personally think that advertising in our parks is not a good idea this would take way from our parks aesthetics,” said Johnson. “We should not be selling our parks heritage for a few thousand dollars a month.”
, Parks and Recreation Director, insisted that the restrictions and regulations within this agreement gave the city the tools to tweak or remove the program if the majority of residents complained.
“This is a pilot program and a one year agreement, so we actually have the ability to terminate it with a 30 days notice,” said Adams. “If [the city does not] want to have advertising, I will find some other way to finance things.”
Adams also stated that the banners will be limited to some structures like light poles and bleachers and fences around baseball diamonds and sports fields. Adding that that the advertisements would be family friendly and not be overdone. Citing that only 25 out the 103 new light poles would be used as advertising space, as example of the controlled nature of this policy.
Councilmember Gil Hurtado added that as a coach and president of South Gate Juvenile Athletics Association he had already a positive experience with adds on baseball diamonds.
“It made it look like a real baseball diamond,” said Hurtado. “It is not going to hurt the aesthetics of the park, but I can understand the concerns.”
The City Council also went ahead and unanimously permitted the introduction of an ordinance that if adopted would allow restaurants patios to serve alcohol in their outdoor patios.
The help that culinary businesses could receive from such an ordinance was seen by members of the council as a good way to increase commerce.
“I believe that this is a change that is very much needed,” said Hurtado “There are few business out there that will benefit from this.”
Councilmember Henry Gonzalez also expressed approval for this ordinance.
“I have supported this from the beginning,” said Gonzalez. “ The concept has been talked about in the past.”
During the meeting both councilmember Hurtado and Morales also appointed residents to the Citizen’s Advisory Committee. Rick Reyes, Monica Meza and Wendy Tejada were appointed by Morales, while Waldo Perez, was reappointed by Hurtado. This committee helps the City Council with their opinion on goverment matters, but most importantly in regards to the use of federal funds.
The City Council also proclaimed the week of Feb. 19 as “National Engineers Week.”