Politics

Council Members Want Signs in Parks Despite City Attorney's Warning

With reporting from Alexandria Gales

Several council members said today that they would like to pursue sponsored signage in Los Angeles parks despite a ruling by the city attorney that those signs would be illegal advertisements under the city’s billboard ordinance.

The discussion began last fall when Warner Brothers Pictures proposed a deal to install signs with the images of Yogi Bear in three Los Angeles parks (watch our original investigation here). The signs coincided closely with the release of the studio’'s Yogi Bear movie, and the opinion of the City Attorney’'s Office was that the signs were not legal under city law, which bans commercial signs in parks.

Council members Bill Rosendahl, Bernard Parks and Greig Smith found the city attorney's stance inconsistent with other signage allowed by the city, said Dennis Gleason, press deputy for Parks.

"Parks questioned why, for example, there was no problem with the 'Dodger Dreamfield' installed at MLK Park that includes signage for the Dodgers," Gleason said by e-mail.

Not all members of the committee shared the view. City councilman Paul Koretz said he agreed with the city attorney, while councilman Jose Huizar offered no comments on the issue.

The discussion arose at a regular meeting of the Los Angeles budget and finance committee, with council members asking for clarification on the current rule governing signage and advertising on city property and calling for recommendations on a new city-wide policy to eliminate any further confusion, according to Gleason.

No deadline for the recommendations was given, except that they should be made as soon as possible, Gleason said.

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Hey! Those city councilmen and the mayor have the right to get under-the-table bribes just like anybody else!