SAN JOSE, Calif. — A growing number of groups that donated money to keep California state parks from closing say they want a refund, or at least a binding promise from lawmakers to spend the $54 million in hidden funds on parks, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
“They sort of came to us under false pretenses. They cried wolf, and we responded,” said Reed Holderman, executive director of the Sempervirens Fund, a nonprofit conservation group in Los Altos. “An elegant solution would be for them to refund the nonprofits, and put whatever is left into parks.”
U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Cerritos, sent a letter last week to the state parks department calling it “irresponsible with taxpayer dollars” and demanding that it refund $30,000 that the city of Whittier donated to help keep Pio Pico State Park open, writes the San Jose Mercury News.
“I am extremely proud our community stepped up to keep this treasured state historic park open,” Sanchez wrote. “However, based upon the recently discovered budget surplus, it is clear that there was no need for the city to use their general funds for this purpose.”
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