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Carson Decision May Sink Future Rose Parade Floats

December 13, 1990|ANTHONY MILLICAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

When Betty Boop motors through Pasadena in her hot yellow convertible atop the City of Carson float on New Year's Day, it may be the last time the city is represented in the Rose Parade.

The Carson City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to eliminate all city funding for a Carson entry in future parades. In addition, if by March the Carson Rose Float Assn. cannot independently raise $41,000 to fund the float, then the city also will withdraw its endorsement of the entry, and no Carson float will be entered.

Carson estimates the annual cost of the float at $88,000.

Mayor Vera Robles DeWitt said she thinks it is going to be tough for the association to raise the money needed, but "I think they'll make it."

"Maybe it's better that a community group pays for this," she said. "Maybe it'll build more pride because more people will be helping out."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday December 20, 1990 South Bay Edition Metro Part B Page 7 Column 1 Zones Desk 2 inches; 60 words Type of Material: Correction
Carson Float--A story on Dec. 13 incorrectly reported that the Carson City Council voted to eliminate funding for a city float in future Rose parades. In fact, the council voted to notify parade officials of their interest in having a municipal float in the 1992 event. However, the council did not approve city funding for the float and some council members said the city will not make a financial commitment toward the cost of a float.

A spokeswoman for the association said a fund-raiser is planned for January.

Carson has had an entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade since 1977. Past entries have included a number of prize winners in the municipal category, according to city officials, and supporters say a float entry boosts civic pride.

However, the financially strapped city's funding of a float for this January has been a target of recent criticism. Some residents said the money would have been better spent to offset some of the recent cutbacks in the Parks and Recreation Department.

But city spokeswoman Eva Gatling said the decision to fund the float was made in May, long before the city entered into serious budget considerations.

Jean Bristol, parliamentarian for the float association, told the council Tuesday that the group is aware of the city's budgetary concerns and said the January fund-raiser will determine whether private funding is feasible.

"All we're asking for is a chance, a very slim one perhaps, but nonetheless a chance," she said.

The group has so far raised about $5,000 by selling Rose Parade promotional items and through private contributions and raffles. The fund-raiser is aimed at mobilizing support from past volunteers.

Several hundred Carson volunteers were recently on hand at an Azusa production site to help with decoration work, such as the preparation of dried flowers, seeds and vegetation that will be used on the float.

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