Splitting up Rec and Park appointments gains big supporters 

A movement known as “Take Back Our Parks” has formed around a charter amendment that could end up on the November ballot that would strip the mayor of sole appointing authority of all seven Recreation and Park Commissioners.

According to the website: “Take Back Our Parks is a coalition of citizens who are concerned about the loss of our parkland to commercialization and the lack of responsiveness of the Department to San Franciscans. We have come together to support the Charter Amendment to improve the Department of Recreation and Park through a more independent Commission.”

The website said the effort has the support of such groups as the influential Telegraph Hill Dwellers, the Sierra Club, Northern California Chapter, San Francisco Tomorrow and the Golden Gate Audubon Society.

Mayor Gavin Newsom has come out against the charter amendment as has Rec and Park Director Phil Ginsburg.

The Board of Supervisors Rules Committee meets Thursday to vote on a proposed charter amendment that would take away the mayor’s sole appointing authority of the Recreation and Park Commission. As it works now, the seven commissioners are appointed by the mayor. The 11-member board can reject an appointment with eight votes.

The charter amendment would split up the appointments so the board appoints three, the mayor three and the board’s president appoints one jointly with the mayor.

The committee meets at 10 a.m., at City Hall, in Room 263.

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