Two members of the commission, Councilman Bernard Parks and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, got into a heated argument on this morning’s program. There were several points of disagreement, including whether Parks owes the commission $40,000 for a Coliseum fireworks show. However, the biggest dispute was over whether the public has been sufficiently involved in the decision to give USC managerial control over the stadium.
The Councilman claimed that there should have been public hearings before serious negotiations began with USC. The Supervisor argued that there were public meetings prior to the decision and that turning management over to USC would enable the school to make necessary Coliseum improvements that the commission couldn’t afford.
As you might have heard, a few top Coliseum managers were alleged to have engaged in business practices that enriched themselves personally, at the expense of the public. Also, the commission hasn’t been able to make stadium improvement that USC had been promised, as part of the university’s lease with the commission.
Councilman Parks’ criticism of the process, and of making a managerial deal with USC, will likely continue. What’s uncertain is whether other critics of the Coliseum/USC managerial deal will try to stop it in court.