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Golf Cart Rentals Prove People's Distrust of City Government

Photo by nimishgogri via Flickr
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Who knew golf carts were such a hot bed of controversy, as well as a microcosm for the perils of local government? After 40 years of operation by J.H. Kishi Co., the golf cart rental biz on municipal golf courses in Los Angeles is now being run by the City, and things are getting off to a rocky start, according to the Daily News. On day one, "the electric carts at all of the municipal courses had been left unplugged and had to be recharged, forcing golfers to walk the courses," according to the Director of Golf Operations, James Ward.

Who left them unplugged? Ward said his department doesn't know, but their staff of temporary city-employed workers--given the gig because they had their regular work hours reduced elsewhere--had to recharge their fleets before they were able to rent them out to golfers.

The City took over the cart operations as a way "to boost revenue and keep city employees working." Golfers at the Encino-Balboa, Woodley Lakes, Hansen Dam, Griffith Park and Rancho Park courses will now be helping fill the city's gaping coffers with each cart rental. The city is working as though this was a permanent plan, even in the face of a lawsuit by Ready Golf, the company poised to take over the rental operations in 2007. Ready Golf notes in their suit that the city's actions are "a poster child for why the public so distrusts city government."

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