The ballot measure is the brainchild of Supervisor John Avalos, a mayoral candidate. Blasting the measure is Michela Alioto-Pier, another mayoral candidate, and Rec and Park Spokeswoman Sarah Ballard, a former legislative aide for Alioto-Pier.
Avalos’s ballot measure halts Rec and Park from imposing new fees to use park facilities, and states that “all recreation facilities, including but not limited to clubhouses, not leased on the effective date of this measure, shall not be leased to private entities but shall remain open and accessibility to the public,” according to the San Francisco Examiner. The idea is that no more private entities would be allowed to lease out public space, and that existing public space would be kept public.
But the wording is too vague, and makes the ballot measure go too far, according to Ballard. “Our concern is it will impact birthday parties, picnic permits, weddings and beloved civic events like gay pride and Chinese New Year,” she told The Examiner. Her former boss Alioto-Pier also issued an email blast attacking the measure.
SF politicos are more than happy to turn the conversation to their favorite topic, demanding money:
Avalos said the larger picture is that San Francisco is not spending enough on essential departments such as Rec and Park.
“The department impacts so many people in San Francisco,” Avalos said. “The essential flaw is they need much more general fund support so Rec and Park doesn’t have to go through plans of privatization.”
According to Ballard, Rec and Park was forced to lay off 50 employees last fiscal year in order to bridge part of the $45 million they’ve had to cut from the department budget over the last six years.
A local liberal news outlet concludes the article with this observation:
What’s definite is that in San Francisco politics, nothing is off-limits from being politicized. Not even parties in the park.
That’s an understatement. It’s not that personal is political, which is bad enough, but that personal is shrinking. Turns out celebrating a birthday on public property (not to mention erecting a cross) is problematic. On display here is the logical outcome of the “personal is political”: unchecked expansion of government. “Personal is political” exists to guide government intervention, and once government is invited to step in, it will find more areas where to grow.
That anyone still celebrates birthdays in San Francisco is a welcome news, of course, because the City is notoriously not child-friendly.
Blogging was light this week. First, my children came down with sicknesses. Next, my monitor broke, and I’m still waiting for the new one. I’m using DH’s laptop in the meantime, and I can’t stand the feel of the keyboard. In fact, the only thing I can think of as I type, is how odd it feels. Plus, I need some of the materials saved on my desktop for my posts. Finally, we have a plumbing problem caused by street pipes. I called a private guy who cleaned out the main pipe on our house and did tests on street pipes. The city would not allow us use private contractors for the street, though we have to pay ourselves. The city plumbers came over and refused to use “some private guys'” video test of the pipes, so they’ll be back tomorrow to do their own testing.