Proposed RPD $185 M Parks Bond
- This email came from Neighborhood Parks CouncilProposed RPD $185 M Parks Bond
As you have heard, The Recreation and Park Department and the Port of San Francisco have prepared a $185 million Parks and Open Space Bond for the February 2008 ballot to address the capital needs of the City's neighborhood parks and improve open space quality and access along the bay shoreline.
The bond development process (and specifically the lack of an effective stakeholder and public process to build a consensus proposal) and the proposed allocations still leave much to be desired in NPC's opinion. Whether this is a supportable measure remains to be seen, but there are still some important opportunities for you to express your opinion with both the RPD Commission and the Board of Supervisors -- the ultimate arbiter of what goes in the bond.
1) NPC strongly favors more funding ($20 million) for the Opportunity Fund-- a pot of funds that allow for community match projects to be proposed by neighborhood and 'friends' groups. Putting more funds in this pot makes sense economically since it doubles or triples the value of taxpayers dollars, but also because it gives neighborhoods hope that they can help their park even though they may be way down the priority list of RPD projects.
2) NPC also strongly urges the commission and the Board to add more funds to the forestry pot. Half of what is proposed now will be used for assessment, leaving only $1million for tree pruning. Anyone who has had their street tree pruned recently can tell you that this won't go very far. MOST OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS NEVER GET ANY TREE WORK DONE UNLESS THERE IS AN EMERGENCY. We need to begin to redress our forest decline by saving our old tree stock and replanting new trees.
The bond total is a finite amount (based on likely public support) which means than funding for different categories must be adjusted. RPD's project criteria, regardless of their claims, is about covering political bases in spreading projects around to every district -- it does not consider whether a bond is the best source of funding for some of the projects. The Commission and the Board need to take a hard look at these projects and decide if it isn't smarter to look for funding elsewhere or place projects in the Opportunity Fund-- so that we can marshal our social capital in our neighborhoods as well as community resources to stretch limited tax dollars given the huge capital needs of the park system.
TAKE ACTION: There is much at stake and you need to participate!
1. Write a letter to Commissioner Larry Martin (President) c/o McLaren Lodge, Golden Gate Park, 501 Stanyan, SF 94117 and express your views and needs
2. Attend the special Commission hearing on Monday, September 24th at 9:00 AM (Room 400 City Hall) to speak up about your concerns and suggestions 3. Write a letter to your District Supervisor regarding this bond and how they can help improve it.
Click here for a form letter to encourage your city government to include more funding towards the Community Match Fund and reforestation.
Please call, fax, or email your Supervisor and the Recreation and Park Department today:
Recreation and Park Commission
Recreation and Park Planning
Pres. Aaron Peskin
gerardo.sandoval@...Our postal address is
451 Hayes Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, California 94102