At the October 21 Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners meeting, the five-member board voted to approve the amended and restated agreement with Your Palisades Park Improvement Corporation, including approval of the revised recognition signage.
In August 2019, the Commissioners approved a gift agreement between Your Park and the City for construction and installation of Veterans Gardens and bocce courts at the Palisades Recreation Center. The original agreement provided for the installation of certain recognition signage.
At its July 2021 meeting, the board partially approved the Gardens as a gift, but asked staff to return with an amended agreement for the revised five military panels and donors’ names/history on those panels.
Commissioners were reminded, “The Board expressed strong and serious concerns regarding the language and format of the Military Panels, whose design had deviated from the conceptual design previously approved by the Board.”
In the revised agreement, the following language is now approved for the panels: “You may scan the QR Code to learn more about the veterans honored in this park. Please note that this QR Code links to a website that is not maintained by or under the control of the City of Los Angeles. (RAP reserves the right to remove the QR code.)”
It was noted in the amended agreement that Bocce Court Recognition Plaques have not yet been sponsored but are subject to Board approval and shall conform to RAP Sponsorship Recognition Policy.
The length of time for panel recognition is now 10 years instead of 30 years. Commissioner Vice President Lynn Alvarez asked, “The installation can be revisited in 10 years and those panels could be removed?” She was told yes.
Commissioner Joe Halper pointed out that the American Legion Post 283’s $400,000 donation “was made for a 30-year agreement with the Post. Your Park is concerned about future fundraising efforts.” He noted that the 10-year time limitation “could inhibit the ability to raise funds going forward.”
Your Park had agreed to cover maintenance costs for Veterans Gardens and the bocce courts, which would include trimming hedges, shrubs and trees and responsibility for irrigation repairs and controllers. RAP would not be liable for those expenses.
The name of Veterans Gardens and the donor wall received approval for 30 years, but not before Board President Sylvia Patsaouras asked about the justification for 30 years.
She was told, “That was a stipulation from the initial donor, the American Legion.”
She questioned the park’s current recognition of donors for a public space, based on money. She said, “Donors give money, and they get their name in a public park.”
Commissioners approved the amended agreement, but with plans to address this issue in a future policy of whether park donor recognition should be based on donations.