Coit Tower events proposal already meets backlash 

click to enlarge Event limitations at stake: San Francisco voters approved Proposition B to “strictly limit” the number of private parties at Coit Tower and retain more landmark revenue. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner File Photo
  • Event limitations at stake: San Francisco voters approved Proposition B to “strictly limit” the number of private parties at Coit Tower and retain more landmark revenue.

Like beauty, city policy is in the eye of the beholder. And just weeks after voters approved a new policy to prioritize the beautification of Coit Tower, backers of the ballot measure don’t like what they see.

Proposition B — passed by 53 percent of voters in the June 5 election — imposed a vague new policy to retain revenue earned at Coit Tower for its upkeep, and to “strictly limit” private events sporadically held there to raise funds. The policy aimed to earmark more money to fix decaying historic murals and structural problems at the 210-foot landmark.

But today, at its regular meeting, the Recreation and Park Commission is set to consider allowing one private event per month. Jon Golinger, the leader of the Protect Coit Tower Committee, said that’s not what he had in mind by “strictly limit.”

Although neither Golinger nor Rec and Park officials have determined exactly how many private events occurred before the passage of Prop. B, Golinger said if the commission approves the policy, it will serve to “significantly increase” the private activities — against the wishes of voters.

“It is especially concerning that the Recreation and Park Commission is being asked to ignore the will of the voters at the same time it is about to ask those same voters to ‘trust us’ by approving a $195 million parks bond on this November’s ballot,” Golinger said in a statement, referring to Rec and Park seeking more funding to maintain The City’s open spaces after it won voter approval for $185 million in bond funding in 2008.

Rec and Park spokeswoman Sarah Ballard had no specific comment on Golinger’s grievance, but she noted that the new policy — like every other city policy — is ultimately up to the Board of Supervisors to interpret, as mandated by the City Charter.

Rec and Park also will consider entering into negotiations with a new concessionaire at Coit Tower, where souvenirs and simple food items are available for sale, along with an elevator service to the top of the building.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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Dan Schreiber

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