Columnist Kevin Modesti in the Daily News offers an amusing look today One recent afternoon at the Los Angeles Zoo’s
at the issue that has paralyzed the City Council for so long:
One recent afternoon at the Los Angeles Zoo’s
elephant exhibit, a grayish creature with wrinkles around the eyes But enough about me.
This is supposed to be about Billy the elephant… People care about elephants such as Billy because
stared over the wood-and-rope fence. He was slow afoot, kind of
lumbering. He seemed, in some ways, ill-suited to the modern world. He
faced an uncertain future. And, my, what big ears he had.
we see a lot of ourselves in them, particularly at a time when both man
and beast are struggling to keep up, humans in a rapidly evolving
workplace and animals on a fast- changing globe”
Elephant — and the hundreds of people on both sides of the issue –
the runaround for months is typical of how the nation’s highest paid city officials treat everybody.
elephant exhibit, a grayish creature with wrinkles around the eyes
But enough about me.
This is supposed to be about Billy the elephant…
People care about elephants such as Billy because
A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer in your face. But who’s laughing?
Tom LaBonge, fresh from his triumph over those who wanted to really protect Griffith Park from the ravages of development, now has moved a step closer to winning approval of finishing the elephant exhibit at the LA Zoo. The council is finally set to actually make a decision today.
His City Council’s Arts and Parks Committee on Tuesday recommended completing the $42 million Pachyderm Forest — now halted after a third of the money was spent.
And he’s armed with a new report from the Chief Legislative Analyst to defeat Tony Cardenas’ plan to create a sanctuary out in the wilds of the Valley while turning the elephant exhibit into a home for
rhinoceroses and hippopotamuses who apparently don’t need room to roam despite their mammoth size.
The CLA, sharing some of the responsibility for the city running up a $400 million deficit despite a 33 percent revenue increase, has become quite conscious of how the public’s money is being spent.
Here’s the findings on the financial impact of changing course (billy-cla.pdf):.
If the Pachyderm Forest Exhibit is completed and the GLAZA offer is accepted, the project’s impact
to the General Fund of $24 million over 20 years would be completely mitigated.
If the Pachyderm Forest Exhibit is cancelled, the General Fund would need to repay $5 million in voter approved funding to the County of Los Angeles within 60 days.
If the Pachyderm Forest Exhibit is replaced with another project, the project’s impact to the General
Fund would be about $26 million in debt service over 20 years.
So if time and money are important, the council will not foreclose on Billy’s home.
It wouldn’t be so bad if this was just an isolated example of City Hall’s failings. But it isn’t. The council has a way of leaving just about everyone feeling frustrated and wondering why everything takes so long and gets so complicated — everyone that is except those who throw a lot of money at the animals in the City Hall zoo.