San Francisco Parks to Get Less Public, More Private

Privatization efforts in San Francisco's public parks continues

By Jackson West
|  Sunday, Jan 3, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM PDT
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San Francisco Parks to Get Less Public, More Private

Fire up your food stand engines, because it's either gouging tourists or raising taxes if you want parks.

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After years of budget cuts and mismanagement, park maintenance and improvement in San Francisco is inadequate and underfunded. Who would have thunk it?

Just imagine! Stern Grove, brought to you by, say, Wells Fargo. Foie gras sliders and caviar cones at Stowe Lake. More fabulous parties thrown by socialite Dede Wilsey.

While these dream (or nightmare, if you prefer) scenarios may never come to pass, Recreation and Parks general manager Phil Ginsburg is determined to make "become much more entrepreneurial," eyes a-glitter after seeing all the tasteful plaques representing wealthy donors to the Central Park Conservancy, a non-profit that partners with the City of New York.

Because lord knows the rich will just jump at the chance to pay for improvements to the landscape they can see from their car windows in the minute between turning off Fulton before parking underground and walking to the De Young.

Of course, the best opponents of further park privatization can come up with in response is to suggest new taxes to fund the commons. So, inevitability: Assured.

Jackson West would chip-in for something witty and subversive to be caste in bronze and affixed to a bench somewhere.

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