Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mission Dolores Meeting



Currently, in San Francisco, a trouble is brewing. It all really begins in 2008 when a series of bond measures were passed in California. These were the Clean and Safe Park bonds which enacted recently. Parks throughout San Francisco are getting necessary renovations to make them safer, more modern and just better over all. One of these parks is the Mission Dolores park.

On Feb. 3rd, Nick King, a staffer of Bevan Dufty told the press along with the need for renovations;
Also stated that "entirely closed during its renovation." Currently the two most important S.F. Parks to the San Francisco constituency are Golden Gate and Dolores. The long and short of this is that this statement is premature, the bond for this project hasn't even been sold yet. This means that the money hasn't come to the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department (SFRPD) which means that the design and planning stages hasn't happened yet. All together, nothing has been decided yet. But still, this simple statement made the "blogosphere" blow up.

The local blogosphere blew up this week with word that Dolores Park will close for at least a year for renovations. PBR-drinking fixie riders were in an uproar. Nevermind all those who loved the park long before the others decided it was their holy land. And so it was up to Dolores Park Works to set the story straight - the park will remain accessible:

The renovations will be done in phases. The whole park will not be closed or fenced off for the duration of the renovations. ... [The playground remodel phase] is scheduled to start in October 2010 and end in April 2011. [Phase 2 will start after that]. The goal is to limit the impact on the community while ensuring that the work is done efficiently and safely.
It has been assumed for a while that Dufty will be running for Mayor of San Francisco. In a May 2009 article it speaks on his focus on the individual and smaller projects to garner local support;
If Bevan Dufty is serious about his bid for Mayor, then he needs to concentrate on how this situation is handled. This Dolores Park situation is more than just one of the "little things" and needs to be handled with kid gloves.

Currently, though the efforts of Dufty's office, San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and others there will be a meeting March 3rd regarding the park. Honestly I have concerns that there will still be a lot of unhappy people if the meeting isn't prepared well. I have a frightening vision of around a thousand angry "hipsters" rallying at the site and then using that anger to ruin Dufty's chances.

Hopefully this gaff wont affect his chances too much, it can still be resolved and spun, but it should have been handled more carefully from the get go. If he doesn't realize it by now, he should at least consider the fact that State Senator Mark Leno will be eyeing the Mayoral position himself seeing as how he will probably be termed out near then and there will be huge pressure on him to do so.

If either Dufty or Leno make the cut and hold the office, it would still mark the first openly gay mayor of San Francisco, and, as Leno was the first openly gay Assemblymember (with John Laird), if he wins he would have broken two barriers.

All eyes to Mission Church on March 3rd.

-Please keep in mind these are MY views and not the views of any organization I may be associated with.

-Quick update, Nick King has been transferred to soon-to-be-termed out Mayor Newsom's office.

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