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include, of course, the major crimes and felonies, was 25.7, and the average of the other cities is 21.4. There are only two cities in that whole group which are in excess of the District, and we find, on the other hand, the expenditures for recreation in the District are way beyond that of the other 13 cities, although we do find a figure here which is very encouraging: That since 1941, to 1945, in that period during which this new board was created, there has been a reduction of 32.8 in the number of offenses committed per 10,000 people, so that apparently there is some correlation between the two figures, and perhaps it is serving some purpose; whether it is or not, we do not know. There are many intangibles.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. That is right. Many of those statistics are very difficult to weigh one against the other. We feel that as a board it is a community responsibility to render a maximum of competent recreation service; that the other community social problems such as health, delinquency and fatalities, are all beneficiaries of an effective community program,
Mr. 'BATES. All of which, of course, all lead to the more grave offenses such as felonies, as set forth there.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. That is right.
Mr. Bates. Now, for instance, let me ask you this question: How many recreational facilities have been taken from the District by the Federal Government and turned over to privately operated enterprises for which Washington residents are charged fees? Do you happen to have any of those in mind?
This is a question that is posed to me by interested citizens, and I am interested to know just what they have in mind by such an inquiry.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. Well, you have opened up a very interesting discussion, Mr. Bates, because one of the things that is preventing or diverting the District board from discharging their full responsibilities are some of the facilities that are tied up by private concessions between the Department of Interior and Government Services, Inc.
Mr. BATES. That is this organization that we have been reading so much about that operates these cafeterias.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. That is right.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. They operate the fee tennis courts, the boating facilities, the bicycle concessions, six swimming pools, and the C. & 0. Canal. They are all included in a contract between the Department of Interior and the Government Services, Inc., and recently the Senate Civil Service Committee asked us to testify, and we pointed out that most of those facilities should be the responsibility of our Board.
Senator Cain. Had they ever been under your jurisdiction?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. No, sir. I might also add that Government Services, Inc., has a place in the community. They previously filled a definite
because there were certain investments that were made and certain responsibilities that Government Services undertock because of these gaps and deficiencies that existed before our Board was created. But it was the intent of Congress, and if you will read the copies that I gave you, that those facilities would be operated by the Recreation Board for the citizens of the District of Columbia.
Senator Cain. Will you take this booklet and point that out.
Mr. Bates. The question was what recreation facilities have been taken over. You state your Board never had them. My question was whether the Federal Government has taken over any facility from the District.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. They have not taken anything over from our Board.
Mr. Bates. And do these privately operated enterprises pay taxes to the District, and do they operate on District land, these Federal enterprises ?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. They operate on park land. Some of those lands have been purchased with District tax funds.
Mr. BATES. And they are owned in fee by the District?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. Title is in the Federal Government. But the assignment of some of those properties was made by the National Capital Park and Planning Commission to the District Commissioners, although the attorneys hold that the title for the swimming pools remains with the Department of the Interior.
Mr. BATEs. So far as you know none of these activities by this GSI, as you call it, are operated on District properties.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. No.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. The recent press report made by the director of Government Services, Inc., over a period of years was a profit of $121,000.
Mr. BATEs. For a period of what years? Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. I do not remember exactly, but it was a period of approximately 15 to 20 years. In the testimony as reported by the press it referred to part of the profits being diverted to offset the deficit in the operation of the Government cafeterias.
Mr. BA TEs. But is it in every sense of the word a private enterprise, profit ma king?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. No; it is nonprofit.
Mr. BATES. How closely are their funds and activities supervised and audited, do you know?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. I cannot answer that, but I know the General Accounting Office is now investigating many of their accounts and reports, and Government Services, Inc., have their own auditing system. We do not get into that phase at all.
Mr. Bates. They are not on publicly owned lands and provide service for the District residents. Of course, that again begs the question I asked you before, whether or not these facilities are operated on District-owned land. Of course, the Federal Government has a right to do whatever Congress authorizes them to do on their own land with money that is appropriated for the purpose, but there is apparently a conflict of authority there, and-well, there may not be a conflict of authority there, but there certainly is an overlapping of recreational facilities and responsibilities.
Senator CAIN. Most of their facilities are used on the payment of a fee?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. Yes.
Senator Cain. If, by way of argument, your recreational operations took over those facilities, would it be your intention to use them on the payment of a fee?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. I would say this: That many of those facilities are a special service and should be paid for.
Mr. BATES. Such as what?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. And swimming pools for adults, for the most part, there ought to be a fee because it is an expensive operation. We believe there should be a combination fee and free policy, particularly for the youth and adults.
Senator Cain. I take it you have made two points: No. 1 is, if you had your own way administratively, would include within your own operation these outside operations now under GSI, and you are about to point out that the law under which you operated had that intention in mind.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. That is right.
Mr. Bates. You think the law had the intention of turning over Federal property to the District for recreational purposes?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. Yes, Mr. Bates, for the reason that the appropriation for the Office of National Capital Parks within the District comes from the District Commissioners out of the tax funds. The Superintendent of Parks is a member of our Board. They operate under the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior.
Mr. BATES. You mean the funds for the maintenance of those parks comes out of District funds?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. Out of National Capital Parks in the District except those facilities that Government Services operate, which they maintain. However, there are major repairs or improvements occasionally that have to be made by the Office of National Capital Parks. I am thinking particularly of swimming pools.
Mr. Bates. On that, is the National Capital Parks municipal or Federal ?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. It is Federal, but it receives its funds from the District for primarily District park areas.
Mr. Bates. And do I understand that they have authority to allocate part of their expenses to the District to be assumed by the District ?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. Yes; they can permit us to operate many of these facilities.
Mr. BATES. And for improvements in the parks?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. On park property. There are some different property classifications. Some are what we call national in character, and some are District park areas.
Mr. Bates. The question is one of ownership. Who has the title?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. No; but many of the park lands are being bought out of the District funds.
Mr. Bates. If that is so, the District acquires title in the first instance and turns it over to the Federal Government.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. No; the title never originates in the District, because the Planning Commission buys the land, and they assign it to the National Capital Parks.
Mr. Bates. Is the National Planning Commission a District commission ?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. It receives its funds from the District, but it operates independently. Mr. Bates. Who appoints the members? Commissioner Young. They are appointed by the President. Mr. BATEs. Then they acquire land from District funds. Commissioner Young. We pay for it, and the title goes to the United States.
Mr. Bates. It goes to the United States, although you pay for it. Commissioner Young. That is right. Mr. BATEs. That is a strange set-up. In other words, the thought Dat you want to leave with us is that Congress is to blame. I guess rare, if that is so; that is a very peculiar situation. I wonder w many times that has happened. I wish you would give us a Tiedule of all those properties that have been purchased by the money of the District and the title of which has gone to the Federal GovernDent. I have known of cases where communities have purchased and. I have myself done so, one particular case where we paid a half million dollars for land, and I turned it over to the National Hvernment for a national historic monument; that is where the way was clear, and it was well understood that is the purpose for which the property was going to be used. Maybe the same principle applies Lere. I would like to have a schedule of all those lands.
Commissioner Young. I think it would be better if the budget furnishes those figures our budget officer.
Mr. BATES. I would be interested to know that. But I am interated in the way those activities are carried on in properties that were squired by the Planning Commission. Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. By the Planning Commission. Mr. Bates. And paid for by District funds. Senator Cain. If you have a reference to that, I think that would tie that up in rather a neat package, and we would know where we are
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. (reading from Public Law 524): The Board shall have power and authority to adopt, conduct, direct, or cause Is he conducted or directed, under its supervision, a comprehensive program of ahlie recreation which shall include the operation and direction of games, sports, arts and crafts, hobby shops, music, drama, speech, nursery play, dancing, atures, form for informal discussion, and such other physical, social, mental, and creative opportunities for leisure-time recreation centers, playgrounds, athletic fields, playfields, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, swimming pools, Traches, golf courses, community centers, and social centers in schools, parks, of other publicity owned buildings, as well as other recreational facilities which may be agreed upon between the Board and the agencies having jurisdicen over such facilities. The public properties utilized by the Board for the
purposes shall include those designated by the National Capital Park and Planning Commission, in accordance with a comprehensive planas previously referred to— is suitable and desirable units of the District of Columbia recreation system.
Senator Cain. Now, that remains, then, a very open question, as I understand what you read, that these things shall be done as the Board
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. It does not force them to do it.
Senator Cain. It is purely enabling in character, and an obvious question comes to mind as to what planning and designing the Board has done with reference to taking over the facilities or attempting so to do with GSI.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. We have a comprehensive file showing our efforts to operate these facilities. I submitted copies to the Senate Civil Service Committee at the recent hearings.
Commissioner Mason. We have all gone to court.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. We have made a very aggressive effort to have those facilities made available to us.
Senator Cain. Without any prejudice to anybody, you, just for a minute, reflect on why it has not been accomplished.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. First of all, our law stated that we had to recognize existing contracts that were in effect when we came into being.
Simultaneously, or about a month before the agency was created, a new contract was let between the Government Services and the De. partment of Interior for the previous operation referred to. They have been tied up in a 5-year contract until last year. As soon as we learned that the previous contract, supposedly created in 1942, was 1941, we immediately contacted the Department of Interior. After a series of conferences with them and the District Commissioners we were unsuccessful in securing the use of these facilities. As a result, a new contract was entered into with Government Services, Inc.
Mr. SMITH. Well, is not the real truth about the thing the same old story that no bureau is ever willing to give up any part of its jurisdiction over anything, if they can help it?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. That was not the intent of the law, because they agreed to this act, the same as the other agencies that gave up this responsibility in 1942.
Senator Cain. I would make a suggestion, following the law, you interpret that law, that you or your associates prepare a piece of legislation for the consideration by this committee, which would accomplish the intent of the law, and after we get that and study it, in cooperation with you, then make a decision which, obviously, should not even be considered at this time.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. May I just say that in the light of that, there is one part of this thing the Commissioners now have before them, a request of cur Board to prepare legislation for the immediate turning over of the swimming pools to the District, because those swimming pools are in our recreation plan and, for the most part, are on our school properties.
Senator Caix. Probably other facilities are likewise within your intended plan of operation in the future.
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. We intend to make them available.
Mr. BATEs. You say the swimming pools are in some cases on school properties?
Mr. CHRISTIANSEN. That is right. You have school property and recreation property on the same uit. When some of the pools were constructed, the jurisdictional objects were changed when PWA or ('WA appropriations were made.
Mr. BATES. Of course, I would suggest that we also have a representative of the Department of Interior here. I know some of them personally who are outstanding public servants.