Clear as Mud

The Balboa Park Task Force met March 15 in the Santa Fe Room of the Balboa Park Club to discuss the future of Balboa Park with regards to fundraising management and governance. All 17 volunteer task-force members were in attendance, as well as 10 community members.

The group spent two hours wordsmithing their 18-page draft entitled, “Report of the Balboa Park Task Force to the Mayor and Council of the City of San Diego: Regarding the Formation of a New Public Non-Profit Corporation and the Creation of a Public Private Partnership with the City of San Diego to Assist with Funding, Management and Governance of Balboa Park.”

“Balboa Park is dysfunctional,” said task-force chair Vicki Granowitz. “It has lacked clarity in terms of anybody understanding who to go to in order to get things done. It’s as clear as mud. If you want to volunteer, who do you go to? It doesn’t exist. Also, people who in the past had power haven’t come to terms with the fact that the public wants more transparency for making decisions in the park. For potential donors, there have been concerns that money wouldn’t be wisely spent and the City would get its hands on it, squander it.”

“This has been a two-year process,” continued Granowitz. “The clarifications drafted here are major. Mayor Sanders has supported open transparent public process in a way no other mayor has done in the past 35 years. He is the first mayor to defend the public’s right to be involved.”

An elderly man, later identified as a Balboa Park donor, added, “The park has no standardization of public administration regarding financial reports. The nonprofits that raise funds for the park have never published an annual report that was made public, never.”

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