A $195 million bond measure to improve San Francisco’s parks and playgrounds was introduced today by Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors, who plan on putting the proposal in front of the city’s voters on the November ballot.
The money in the measure, which was introduced at today’s board meeting, would go toward improving various playgrounds, fields and swimming pools and upgrading inefficient irrigation systems, among other enhancements, according to the mayor’s office.
The measure, which requires two-thirds voter approval, would not raise property taxes above 2006 levels since the city would issue the bonds as old bonds are paid back, and would be subject to independent oversight and regular audits.
“This bond will help us invest in our infrastructure, put San Franciscans back to work, and make our parks safe, clean and inviting for everyone,” Lee said in a statement.
The measure was co-sponsored by 10 supervisors, including board president David Chiu, who said “this proposal is an important commitment to our future as a livable, sustainable city.”
The funding from the bond, if approved would create an estimated 1,275 jobs in construction and other related industries, according to city officials.
Parks that would be slated for improvement under the measure include larger spaces like Golden Gate Park and John McLaren Park as well as several small playgrounds and a new public plaza along the waterfront at Pier 43.
“Our parks are being loved to death,” Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg said in a statement.
“At a time when people are using and depending on their parks more and more, significant investment in our infrastructure is needed to ensure that our families have the quality parks and facilities they deserve for decades to come,” Ginsburg said.
The measure follows a similar parks bond in 2008 that was approved by 71.6 percent of the city’s voters. That measure helped to renovate 13 parks and 11 waterfront properties in San Francisco, according to the mayor’s office.
More information about the bond measure can be found on the Recreation and Park Department’s website at www.sfrecpark.org/BondOutreach.aspx.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News