Coit proposition will give voters landmark decision 

click to enlarge Upkeep issues: Damage to Coit Tower’s  Depression-era murals is among the Telegraph Hill Dwellers’ concerns. - SF EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • SF Examiner file photo
  • Upkeep issues: Damage to Coit Tower’s Depression-era murals is among the Telegraph Hill Dwellers’ concerns.

Voters will have their say in June on the management of Coit Tower, after the Department of Elections certified a ballot measure submitted by members of the influential Telegraph Hill Dwellers.

The neighborhood group gathered more than 16,000 signatures late last year in support of the ballot measure, which would “prioritize” funds from elevator fees and concessions at the landmark for its upkeep and limit the number of private events allowed at the site.

The measure doesn’t lay out specifics for either directive, although members of the group say they’re concerned about damage to
Depression-era murals inside the 210-foot concrete structure, and the wear and tear caused by private parties.

Supporters of the measure also complain The City’s Recreation and Park Department doesn’t spend enough on the landmark based on the revenue it generates.
Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg has cautioned against setting a precedent for the budgets of parks to be self-contained, because he says facilities that generate revenue are what make other recreation spots possible in underserved areas of The City.

On Tuesday, the Coalition for San Francisco neighborhoods — a consortium of more than 30 neighborhood groups — endorsed the ballot measure. Jon Golinger, head of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers and the Protect Coit Tower Committee, said the endorsement “shows that people all across this city feel Coit Tower is not just some deteriorating old facility that should be left to decay, but a one-of-a-kind symbol of what makes San Francisco such a special place.”

“The interior of Coit Tower has broken lights, water leaks and lead paint peeling right off the ceiling,” he said.

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