By Ted AYALA
The city with the longest unbroken participation in Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses will continue through 2012.
Glendale City Council voted on Tuesday to approve plans for its 2012 Rose Parade float after speculation that the city would be forced to abandon its plans because of shrinking revenues and the need to trim its budget. Its 2012 entry was saved by a last minute push for donations spearheaded by Rick Caruso and Councilman Dave Weaver.
Jess Duran, the city’s director of Community Services and Parks, presented the plans to the council during the meeting. At stake was Phoenix Decorating Company of Pasadena to design and build Glendale’s float. The contract is not to exceed $99,000. Phoenix’s design had previously been reviewed and approved on June 20 by the Department of Community Services and Parks. Of the estimated cost of the float, $50,000 would be reimbursed to the city via private donations.
Despite funding provided by city and private donors to continue Glendale’s participation in the parade, cuts will still be necessary. These will include eliminating the printing of parade brochures, sales of parade and Rose Bowl game tickets, the Glendale Rose Float Association’s reception ceremony and the purchase of souvenir photos.
“Eliminating these activities would save the city $8,736 in staff maintenance and operation costs,” said Duran.
Council also reviewed the possibility of continuing the city’s participation into 2013 and the future role of the Glendale Rose Float Association. The council also voiced its dissatisfaction with the association’s participation this year and what they considered were its mixed signals about its continued relationship with the city.
“I’m happy that we’re going to have a float this year,” said Councilman Frank Quintero. “Now in terms of the overall future of the city’s involvement in the [parade], I would like to see if we could get the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation and see if we could get them involved in fundraising and other associated duties. But if this is going to be a city float, we need to get the city involved.
“This partnership with the Glendale Rose Float Association has worked for many years, but has also stopped working for a few years. So now we find ourselves in the problem we had this past year where we almost didn’t have a float. They haven’t been successful doing fundraising at all. But the idea that they’re going to continue to recommend designs, select float riders and so forth – I’m not interested in doing that at all. This is a City of Glendale float […] and it needs to rise and fall in the city.”
Councilman Dave Weaver agreed with his colleague’s opinion.
“I believe that the Parks and Recreation Department and its foundation should be the ones taking care of all this,” said the councilman.
Mayor Laura Friedman added that she was “thankful” and “in awe of the community” for being able to raise the funds for the city’s 2012 float.
“I shouldn’t be surprised as our residents tend to be generous,” said Glendale’s mayor. “But more money came in than I had expected.”