San Francisco PR Firm Spins Dolores Park Closure

Part of the cost of park renovation bond is going to PR

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, Feb 25, 2010  |  Updated 2:45 PM PDT
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San Francisco PR Firm Spins Dolores Park Closure

Josh Keppel

Dolores Park offers a great view of the City skyline.

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Recent rains still flood the playground in San Francisco's Dolores Park, which has been awaiting renovation for a decade.

That renovation, which voters approved money for thanks to a park bond ballot measure in 2008, should start next year -- but the Recreation and Parks Department threatened to close the park for nearly a year and a half to complete the work.

So how does the agency, which has laid off maintenance employees thanks to budget cuts, deal with the criticism?

By paying a local public relations firm to help the agency "change the story."

Rec and Parks has since shifted its plans to do a phased renovation, though is still working on those details.

The problem is, argues local blog Uptown Almanac, that "voters did not approve any money to be spent on a PR consultancy" to organize community meetings. (Which, if the recent Muni meetings are any indication, are probably just for show anyway.)

It did, however, allocate $200,000 of the $185 million bond for "audits by a bond oversight committee." Wonder what they'll think of the money set aside for PR firm Davis and Associates Communications?

Jackson West doesn't find this nearly as funny as NBC's Parks and Recreation.

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