Privatize the Zoo?
That's something I don't believe I've ever heard anyone up here discuss. I'm not talking about necessarily selling the zoo lock, stock and barrel, but maybe turn over some functions to private outfits, assuming you can find private companies that do zoo stuff.
I'm not even sure that would solve the funding problems, but other communities have tried, or are about to try similar things. The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat reports Petaluma is considering turning over staffing and day to day operation of their public swimming pools to a private company in light of the city's budget deficit.
Remarkably, they believe the turnover will not only save the city around $260,000 a year, but will also allow them to extend the swimming season. The only expected downside, is fees for swimming lessons will almost triple, from $50.00 to $140.00. Well, at least that should just be a one- time fee for those taking the lessons.
Some years ago I believe it was the City of Redlands(?), in Southern California that had a problem with their library. It was much along the line of complaints I've heard about our county library: Too expensive to run and not accessible to the public. They hired a private company to take over operations. Last I heard money was being saved and open hours had increased.
It would be interesting to see how that library is doing now, and it will be interesting to see how Petaluma's swimming experiment works. Maybe we can apply any lessons learned to the Sequoia Park Zoo?