Lazarus stepping down from Rec and Park 

Recreation and Park Commission President Jim Lazarus stepped down from his post about a half a year early because, he said,  Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office found a philanthropist to replace him.

Lazarus said he told Newsom’s office a few weeks ago he was interested in leaving the commission, saying the commission should have more of a rotation since there’s “800,000 people out there.’’

He also said it makes sense to do it now because the commission will elect new officers at their meeting this Thursday.

His replacement will be Mark Buell – the current president of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy board. Lazarus said Buell will work well with the Recreation and Park Department’s new emphasis.

Buell, a retired real state developer, and his wife are major contributors to political causes and civic charities – including Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign - and have significant ties to The City, Lazarus said.

He will be sworn in Tuesday.  The commission will elect new officers on Thursday.

Lazarus was appointed by former Mayor Willie Brown and served on the commission for 7.5 years. His resignation is effective Tuesday morning.

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Kamala Kelkar

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