McGoldrick's golf plan moves foreward
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick.
By Tamara Barak
June 4, 2007
San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick's plan to avoid privatizing
the city's public golf courses moved forward a step today.
McGoldrick introduced the legislation to the city's Government,
Audit and Oversight Committee this morning. The committee will
review the plan and, if it approves, recommend its passage to
the Board of Supervisors.
Under McGoldrick's legislation, the city's Recreation and Parks
Department, which runs six golf courses in San Francisco and Pacifica,
would be directed to come up with a three-year plan that would
reduce taxpayer contributions and get the courses out of debt.
According to McGoldrick, the city spent $18 million to upgrade
Harding Park in 2002 for a professional golf tournament. City
leaders hoped the exposure would lead to increased revenues, but
expectations have not been met.
His legislation would raise fees at Harding Park by 15 percent
and explore sponsorship opportunities to further raise funds.
McGoldrick also contends that the new $6 million clubhouse at
Harding has performed poorly.
His proposal includes aggressive marketing of the clubhouse by
the city. The clubhouse in now privately managed, and three years
remain on the company's contract.
At a news conference this morning, McGoldrick - flanked by union
members who work at the city's municipal golf courses - criticized
proposals to privatize or partially privatize the city's courses
to solve the financial crisis.
"Next thing you know, every little playground in the city
gets privatized. It's a snowball," the supervisor said.
McGoldrick pledged that he and union leaders would "dutifully
defend the public property for the public good."
John Hanley, president of San Francisco Firefighters, warned
against "selling San Francisco's infrastructure to private
"When Rome fell, Rome fell because they neglected the infrastructure,"
Zac Salem, who represents the Golf Committee of Laborers local
261, said privatizing the golf courses would be a setback for
"It's land that belongs to the people of San Francisco.
Does San Francisco really want a system of private parks for privileged
people?," he said.
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