Case against Prop. B not powerful at all

I take exception to The San Francisco Examiner article describing the small opposition to Proposition B as “powerful foes” (“Parks bond faces powerful foes,” Sunday).

Aaron Peskin and Quentin Kopp are two former supervisors who carry no constituency behind them, but in fact are upset over individual decisions made by the Recreation and Park Department in its effort to serve diverse communities.  

Their opposition makes no case of how stopping the bond program would address the need to improve the department’s operational budget. Prop. B is about public investment in parks that all of us use. Isn’t that what progressive leaders should be supporting?

Peskin and Kopp ignore the diverse needs of city park users such as seniors who use our rec centers, the teenagers who play basketball on city courts and the children who play at their neighborhood playgrounds.

Michael Rice
President, Glen Park Association
San Francisco

What about G.G. Park?

The Recreation and Park Department has turned its back on protecting Golden Gate Park and instead is rushing to pave, commercialize and privatize San Francisco’s premier park.  

Although Proposition B designates some money for Golden Gate Park, there is no clear commitment to which projects will be built or if the 1998 Golden Gate Park master plan guidelines will be followed faithfully.

Will the money be spent to enhance parkland or be used on projects that raise revenue at the expense of our open space?

We cannot trust Rec and Park to protect Golden Gate Park from bad projects. Rec and Park must first clearly demonstrate how bond money will be used to protect our parkland for future generations.

Vote no on Prop. B.

Katherine Howard
Golden Gate Park
Preservation Alliance
San Francisco

Parks need better leaders

The opposition to the parks bond issue is not because of a dislike of Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg or personal slights, as the article states; it is based on how Rec and Park is managed.

A perfect example is the Stow Lake concession debacle. No consideration was given to the economics of the lease awarded to the new vendor, and the bottom line is the likelihood of losing at least $1 million in rent revenue over the term of the lease.

I say vote no on Proposition B until Rec and Park gets its fiscal act together.

Cal Tilden
San Francisco

Help parks by volunteering

The San Francisco Examiner’s cover story “Parks bond faces powerful foes” (describes high-profile opposition — including three former presidents of the Board of Supervisors — to the parks bond issue. Yikes!

Ex-Supervisor Aaron Peskin is quoted as claiming that passing the bond issue will increase the Recreation and Park Department’s “privatization and monetization policies.” I think that if the parks bond didn’t pass, wouldn’t that really jack up fiscal pressure for said policies?

May I suggest a (partial) remedy? Volunteers! No matter how this vote goes, more volunteer action results in less need to privatize and monetize. Volunteers add greatly to the numbers of park advocates and foster healthy community pride.

Opportunities abound on Rec and Park’s volunteer page: www.sfrecpark.org/Volunteer.aspx.

J. Fred Decker
Friends of the Oak Woodlands
San Francisco

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