Park improvements set to begin early next year with Prop. B passage

Courtesy PhotoVoters against Prop. B were concerned with the privatization of the Recreation and Park Department under General Manager Phil Ginsburg.

The 72 percent of voters who approved a $195 million bond measure Tuesday to improve public parks rose “above the noise” to invest in The City, said the chief of the Recreation and Park Department.

Proposition B, which required two-thirds approval, faced an unusual array of opposition — mostly from critics who were concerned with the privatization of the department under General Manager Phil Ginsburg.

However, those arguments did not sway San Francisco’s electorate. As a result of the measure’s passage, improvement work will start in March, with projects scheduled to begin at Glen Canyon Park, Joe DiMaggio Playground and elsewhere. Ginsburg said the bond money is vital to improving and repairing San Francisco’s vast network of aging parks and open spaces.

“It’s certainly comforting to note that San Franciscans are clearly more interested in building playgrounds than playing politics with them,” Ginsburg said. “It feels good that residents are aware of the importance of our park system and were able to rise above the noise to invest in our families and in future generations.”

Of the $195 million, $99 million will go to open spaces, $40.5 to citywide programs, $34.5 million to the waterfront and $21 million to parks.

The measure followed a similar $185 million initiative that was approved with 71 percent of the vote in 2008. If Tuesday’s measure had failed, Rec and Park officials said, another bond would have been unlikely to go before voters until 2020.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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