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Study Team Prevails in Battle of the Roses : City Hall: After heated debate, council allocates an extra $50,000 to the pair examining the city's relationship with the Tournament organization.

July 29, 1993|EDMUND NEWTON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PASADENA — The City Council on Tuesday approved allocation of an additional $50,000 to complete an investigation of the longstanding relationship between the Tournament of Roses and the city.

In May, the council allocated $40,000 for the study, which is being led by former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso. The council retained Pasadena attorney Carolyn H. Carlburg to assist him.

The 2-month-old inquiry has been more difficult than anticipated, the pair said, offering the council some intriguing glimpses into their findings as they essentially made a pitch for more money.

"Basically, we're reviewing for the first time a relationship that's 96 years old," Carlburg said, trying to explain the unexpected complexity of the task.

In a council debate that reflected both the pitch of emotions with which Pasadenans have come to view the tournament and the pain of recent budgetary decisions, several council members objected to the increased costs of the study.

"If we had an extra $25,000, we could fund five recreation slots," Mayor Rick Cole said, referring to one of many budget cuts the council was forced to make last month.

Councilman William Paparian, a lawyer, who voted against the extra allocation, said he had interpreted the original $40,000 figure as an expenditure cap.

"When I'm hired to represent somebody on a case with a fixed fee, and I say, 'Wait a minute, this is more difficult than I expected,' the judge doesn't relieve me of my responsibilities because I misjudged how much time it would take," he said.

But Councilman Isaac Richard, a vocal critic of the tournament and one of the primary supporters of the investigation, said that his colleagues were being "cheap."

"You guys are quibbling over pennies," he said.

Only after Reynoso and Carlburg suggested that the investigation be suspended for lack of funds did the council vote 5 to 1 to grant them up to $50,000 more.

The council is expected to receive a final report Aug. 16.

Reynoso described the city's relationship with the tournament as one that has shifted over the years. The arrangement has been, at various times, one of a partnership and one of a licensing agreement, he said.

The original contract, drawn up in the 1920s, is "extraordinary," Reynoso said, "the likes of which I or my colleagues have never seen." He did not give specifics.

Accountant Carl Simpson, whose firm Simpson & Simpson is examining financial relationships between the city and the tournament, said he has almost completed his study of the sharing of expenses and profits in the annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game.

He said he had found no instance of the tournament misreporting either revenues or expenses to the city.

Simpson said after Tuesday's meeting, however, that the city had in 1984 largely relinquished the task of overseeing the books for New Year's Day events to the tournament.

"There still could be some expenditures that the city may not necessarily agree with," Simpson said.

The council directed the review team to produce only a final report, rather than circulate a first draft to City Manager Philip Hawkey and other city staff.

When Hawkey suggested that he be allowed to review a first draft, Richard charged the city manager with trying to "circumvent the process" of an independent investigation.

"I don't trust you, Phil," Richard said. "Why should you get the report and not me?"

Hawkey said the council had originally directed him to oversee the inquiry for the city.

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