Letter writer Ann Grogan forgets the original question behind the debate regarding whether or not the Recreation and Park Department should be allowed to abandon another park responsibility by throwing Coit Tower into private hands: Will privatizing public park facilities keep other parks free? The answer remains a resounding no, and voting yes on Proposition B would redirect Rec and Park back to its mandate. (“Prop. B debate continues,” Letters, Sunday)
Money from rentals and leases does NOT go back to Rec and Park for that park or to “reform” other parks. It goes directly to the city general fund, where politicians decide where to spend it; unfortunately, they have opted to send it elsewhere and cut the annual parks budget year after year. Parks have become an easy target to “find” money and turn a blind eye to misinformation that so-called partnerships make other parks free. The only reason companies seek out park properties to conduct their business is because it contributes to their bottom lines.
Private philanthropic money as a give-back to the community during hard times is one thing, but the economy will recover. Ann, do you really want to publicly fund Rec and Park as it relinquishes its “recreation” duty, as well as pay a private company for recreational services and access to your local clubhouse?
Now, Mayor Ed Lee and Rec and Park have launched a new media campaign saying that, miraculously, $1.7 million is “being dedicated” to refurbish Coit Tower (“Coit fight spurs $1.7M for site,” Friday). Who knows where this money has been, but seeing is believing, and if true, I rest my case. There is money to keep parks public; they have just chosen to not spend it on parks and been complicit in taking advantage of a public too distracted by problems such as bettering schools to pay attention to park management.
Andrea O’Leary, San Francisco
Thanks to the Planning Commission and Recreation and Park Commission for your votes for the kids (“Turf replacement may face appeal,” Sunday).
I have lived in San Francisco all my life. Places to go and play sports were always needed when I was a kid. I had Silver Terrace Park.
The Giants gave The City some bucks to improve the facilities, and we played there sunup to sundown.
I had a place to play baseball, and after the game, I found out the park has museums. Then finding out museums were a cool place to go, wow!
Thanks for helping the new generation of kids find out, “Hey, there’s a place right in the middle of the park where there’s a bunch of redwood trees. Want to go after the game?”
Rudyard Vance, San Francisco
Today, Muni T-Third Street line riders enjoy direct access to AT&T Park. If the T-Third Street line remains on its present alignment, direct access would also be provided to the Warriors’ pavilion proposed at Piers 30-32. If, on the other hand, the Central Subway is built and activated, it would kill this access. Instead, T-Third Street riders heading north to a Warriors game would be obliged to get off the line at Fourth and King streets and either transfer to another Muni line or walk almost a mile.
Today’s T-Third Street line is much slower than it should be. However, with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency attention, it could be improved. One wonders if the Warriors’ owners are aware of how the loss of T-Third Street line access would affect their facility, especially given southeast San Francisco’s bright economic future ... with or without a Central Subway.
Gerald Cauthen, Oakland