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South Bay Digest

Torrance : City to Fund 100% of Float

March 27, 1986

The City Council voted unanimously this week to fund entirely the city's 1987 entry in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day.

The council approved the recommendation of a special council committee to eliminate corporate co-sponsorship and increase the city's contribution from about $40,000 to as much as $80,000.

Mayor Katy Geissert said that the decision affects only next year's float and that the matter will be discussed again next year to decide future funding.

Georgean Griswold, president of the Torrance Rose Float Assn., a community group that coordinates design and construction, said she was excited about the council's decision but that $80,000 is not enough for the float the association prefers.

She said a handful of builders design floats and match corporate sponsors with them. She said cities then select designs and accept the accompanying corporate sponsors.

Griswold said her group had selected a $100,000 design featuring an Aztec Indian god and dancers that would have been co-sponsored by Miller Brewing Co., which would have provided $60,000. "A World of Wonders" is the theme of the 1987 parade.

But two weeks ago, council members questioned whether it was appropriate for a brewery to co-sponsor the float and whether the city was on the verge of violating a new tournament policy.

The tournament allows companies to provide funding as "silent partners" but has banned corporate identification on city floats.

According to Griswold, Miller did not ask for identification on the float, only that the company provide the dancers, a professional troupe from Mexico.

The council, however, was not convinced. Two weeks ago Geissert appointed the council committee after saying, "I can't really believe that any company would put in $60,000 and not expect to get some mileage out of it."

Griswold said her group will look again at float designs and hopes to bring a less expensive one back for council approval in about a month.

The council had been hinting at eliminating co-sponsorship since 1982 when it severed a 10-year relationship with the U. S. Forest Service over design differences. Since then, the city has co-sponsored its float with Hanna-Barbera Productions, the Wyoming Travel Bureau and Marineland.

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