Does Park Dept. need another bureaucrat? 

Everyone loves the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. What they do not like is that more than 100 recreation directors were laid off. After close to 20 years of adding to our property taxes to rebuild recreation centers and playgrounds, the department wants to take our right to use these neighborhood centers by leasing them (which we will never get back).

Families realize they will have to “pay to play,” but what the Monday op-ed by Jim Lazarus is not telling you is less then a mouth ago Rec and Park just hired another $100,000 bureaucrat. Is a parcel tax coming? The department needs to start having a honest discussion with the people.

Ellen Leaf, San Francisco

Let Specials patrol Muni

What am I missing? Muni is 20 million over budget and it lost $19 million in 2010 fare evasions, according to the April 5 San Francisco Examiner. How about collecting those fares and erasing the deficit by contracting fare-enforcement services to the private Patrol Special Police at about $50-$60 per hour?

These officers earn no pensions or benefits paid by taxpayers. No one can doubt that the Patrol Specials would be less expensive than Muni contracting out The City’s well-paid and well-pensioned police officers. Fifteen months ago, former Patrol Special Police Officer Association President Jane Warner offered these services to Muni CEO Ford and then-Mayor Newsom? Isn’t it about time for Muni to get serious about saving taxpayers, money?

Ann Grogan, San Francisco

Convert tenants to owners

Public housing families should take control of their buildings through conversion to home ownership. Home ownership of Housing Authority units is possible through partnerships of project families and private financial lenders. Home ownership assures that housing project families have a stake in the local community.

Capable residents could provide “sweat equity” to reduce repair and construction costs, with on-the-job skills training programs. Private long-term mortgages would set mortgage payments at current rental rates. Residents purchasing could have property taxes abated to lessen the financial strain.

Family-oriented home ownership would attract corner groceries and other retail. Home owners’ associations could hire private community police for neighborhood protection.

Public housing home ownership would save billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded housing support. It’s a win-win situation.

Ron Getty, Vice Chair, Libertarian Party, San Francisco

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