The problem with vaguely worded ballot propositions is that the interpretation can vary depending on which side of an argument one stands upon. The latest example of this principal is the argument over Coit Tower and the effects the recently passed Proposition B will have upon operations there.
The Prop. B policy statement says funds raised at Coit Tower by the Recreation and Park Department should be prioritized for upkeep of the historic murals inside, the structure and surrounding Pioneer Park. The statement also says San Francisco should “strictly limit commercial activities and private events at Coit Tower.”
Exactly what “strictly limit” means is the new fight. Rec and Park just agreed to enter into negotiations with a new concessionaire for the tower. Although the exact details of a new lease will now be worked out, the proposal says the new operator can hold no more than one private event each month. The backers of Prop. B say that is not what they had in mind.
A new concessionaire promises to bring renewed vigor to the historic site. And the protection of the murals under the guidance of the Arts Commission, which is in charge of the artwork at Coit Tower, is a key piece of the new contract.
If the murals are protected and proper consideration is given to how private events might affect neighbors, it seems reasonable and not excessive to hold no more than 12 private events at the site each year. Many museums with valuable artwork hold weekly fundraising events.
Private events have the ability to raise much-needed funds for the landmark, and the department’s proposal seems to comply with the voters’ will.