Supe proposes plan to clean graffiti, parks 

The city agencies responsible for cleaning up streets and graffiti and caring for city parks could see a workforce boost under a proposal submitted Tuesday by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin.

Peskin said that years of budget cuts have led to "dirtier streets and less well-kept parks" and San Francisco is "sorely lacking city services that we need."

Peskin submitted a request to use a portion of this budget year’s surplus to pay for one month’s worth of salaries for 20 new city workers in the Department of Public Works for tasks such as street cleaning and graffiti cleanup, and 36 new city workers with the Recreation and Park Department for tasks such as park patrol officers and gardeners.

Peskin’s funding request would use about $400,000 of the surplus to pay for these workers’ salaries during the last month of the current fiscal year with the expectation that the positions will continue to be funded during the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The new positions would cost a total of $4.85 million during the next fiscal year.

The budget request comes less than three months before Mayor Gavin Newsom will submit The City’s balanced budget to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

"We’re happy to see that the supervisor supports the mayor’s greening plans for The City," Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard said. "And we will take this into consideration when we submit a balanced budget to the supervisors on June 1."

Peskin said he was submitting the funding request "as really a placeholder for a robust discussion about what the fiscal year 07-08 budget should look like, and reminding this body and the public what cuts we undertook in the economic downturn that have resulted in dirtier streets and less well-kept parks."

Isabel Wade, executive director of the Neighborhood Parks Council, said the additional positions would move The City in the right direction after staff reductions have left many neighborhood parks "dog-eared and shabby." She also said that a lack of park control officers has led to an unsavory element, such as drug dealers, populating some parks.

In other action

TRINITY PLAZA PROJECT WINS APPROVAL: The massive 1,900-rental unit Trinity Plaza development proposed for a corner lot at Market and Eighth streets will become a reality after winning unanimous approval Tuesday from the Board of Supervisors.

Under an agreement reached with local developer Angelo Sangiacomo after four years of planning and negotiating, tenants of the existing Trinity Plaza apartments — which will be demolished — will have the choice to move into 360 of the proposed 1,900 units at their existing rent levels, and the units will be put under The City’s rent-control laws. Sangiacomo has also agreed to offer 15 percent of the remaining 1,540 units at below-market rate.

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