Jerry Brown hasn't held the governor title for long, but he's already worthy of our unsupportive scowl. Reasoning? Part of his current suggestions for budget cuts milk state parks for $11 million through closures and partial closures.
We know he stepped into a difficult situation the second he stepped into the capitol building with a substantial deficit staring him in the face–but the state parks? Come on! Just slice a bit more from the education pool; no one cares anyway. We're kidding. We love education; we have the debt to prove so.
But back to the state parks . . .
Within the borders of OC, we have five state beaches and Crystal Cove State Park that may or may not face the chopping block.
It's believed that popular parks such as San Onofre could be safe and that lesser attended parks will be the first to go. Or maybe parks such as San Onofre will be locked off.
“As of right now, literally everything is on the table for discussion,” said Roy Stearns, the deputy director of communications for the California State Parks. “But there have been no decisions or plans made yet on any closures, non-closures or partial closures.”
Stearns indicated that the hard decisions won't be made until early February.
This isn't the first time state park closures have been discussed as a means to cut the deficit. In 2009, Arnold Schwarzenegger discussed closing as many as 100 of the state's 270-plus parks.
The parks survived the Governator, but now the state faces a greater deficit and a governor in desperate need of financial wiggle room.
Ruth Coleman, the director of California State Parks, released the following statement:
“The governor is moving to find a solution to this unprecedented budget crisis. To achieve that goal and get California's economy moving again, California State Parks will remain focused in support of his direction while working to maintain our mission on behalf of millions of visitors who enjoy our park system.”