Board of Supes pass $185 million park bond
By Caitlin Cassady
October 24, 2007
A final reading of an ordinance to establish a $185 million
bond to clean up and restore San Francisco neighborhood parks
was passed by the board of supervisors Tuesday, and will be voted
on by San Francisco residents in February.
Ten supervisors voted for the ordinance. Supervisor Jake McGoldrick
was not in attendance.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor President Aaron
Peskin proposed the ordinance, which was passed by all 11 supervisors
on its first reading Oct. 16.
According to the ordinance, the $185 million bond would go toward
the "construction, reconstruction, purchase and/or improvement
of park and recreation facilities within the city and county of
Unlike a park restoration bond that was passed by the board of
supervisors in 2000, the bond specifically designates which parks
would receive how much money. The bond has set aside $117.4 million
for playground safety and repair, as well as seismic work for
recreation centers, landscaping and other improvements. According
to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission, each park
would receive a specific amount of money, and would not be able
to expand the scope of the bond.
If the voters of San Francisco pass the ordinance it would incur
a $185 million bonded debt to the city, according to the board
This amount is too great to be paid out of the ordinary annual
income and revenue of the city, and is too large to be paid out
of an annual tax levy.
Under the city's Capitol Planning Program, taxes would not be
raised for landowners, because other bonds that have been issued
over the last 15 years, such as those to improve branch libraries,
will be retired soon. The current tax would then apply to the
new parks bond and no new taxes would be passed along to city
residents or landowners.
The list of parks and open spaces that would be included under
the umbrella of the proposition include everything from Mission
Dolores Park to the Pier 43 Bay Trail Link. Portions of the proposed
bond would also go toward new or renovated bathroom facilities
at parks and improved playing fields. One segment of the bond
is a $5 million hunk that would go toward programs that are community
nominated, according to the board of supervisors.
A vote on the proposed bond will be held the same day as the
California 2008 Presidential Primary election, Feb. 5, according
to the board. The same ballot will be used for both elections
and voters will go to their regular precincts.
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