The Recreation and Park Department has followed neither the letter nor the
spirit of the law for the Strategic Plan as required by the City Charter.
The Charter states:
to the adoption of each five-year plan, the Department shall conduct at least
five hearings in locations distributed geographically throughout the City to
receive and to consider the public’s comments upon the plan. . .”
have not been five hearings held in "locations distributed geographically
throughout the City." The five duly noticed public hearings have all been
held at City Hall.
Rec and Park has
claimed that two meetings on the Strategic Plan were held in the
neighborhoods. However, those meetings were
primarily advertised as Public Budget
Meetings. A very brief note tacked
onto the bottom of those notices states:
get a sneak peek at our Department's new Strategic
Find out what our staff is doing behind the scenes to help guide the department
over the next several years."
This wording clearly
states that the staff is doing the planning, not the public. It is not
an invitation to a robust, give and
take, planning session.
The above notice
contrasts with a different announcement asking the public to participate in
a playground design meeting,
us to help shape the play experiences for San Francisco's children!"
public was left out of the formative stages of the Strategic Plan. The
SF Chamber of Commerce, SPUR and a dot.com were consulted months before
the general public was even informed of, much less included in, the
On July 18th, we attended the Recreation
and Park Commission hearing and asked them to direct the Department to follow the Charter and to
engage the public in a robust planning process for the Strategic Plan.
Commission neither commented on our request nor ask the Department about this lack of public outreach. The Commission
passed the Strategic Plan with a voice vote -- there was also no roll call, as required for City Commissions.