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South Bay Digest

Manhattan Beach : Bike Race Funding OKd

June 05, 1986

The city will pay about $3,000 for police, paramedics and other city employees needed to help run the 25th Annual Grand Prix Bicycle Races next month, but the event's promoters were put on notice this week that the city may not be as generous next year.

The City Council voted Tuesday to waive fees for the races on July 6, but only after newly elected council members Larry Dougharty and Connie Sieber failed to persuade their colleagues that the waiver amounted to a donation to the Torrance-South Bay YMCA and the South Bay Wheelmen, sponsors of the races.

Dougharty and Sieber argued that the races, which attract bicyclists from around the world, have become more than a Manhattan Beach event. They said other cities, or the participants themselves, should share the costs.

"You are in a sense coming to Manhattan Beach and asking us to donate money," Sieber said to Alvin Fletcher, chairman of the races.

Added Dougharty: "That is a decision people should make. If they want to donate to the Y, they can."

Mayor Gil Archuletta defended the decision to waive fees, however, calling the race a tradition in Manhattan Beach. He said it has been an important part of the community that includes many events for residents.

"There are some things you do that you don't look only at dollars and cents," Archuletta said.

Councilwoman Jan Dennis suggested the council approve the fees this year, but direct the city staff to consider other options for next year. The council agreed, with Dougharty dissenting.

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