Vote NO on Proposition B

April 28th, 2016 No Comments »

Keep control over our Parks and Recreation!

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Déjà vu all over again

Are you willing to give up all outside control on how the Department of Recreation and Park spends its money?  You will, if you vote to support Proposition B on the June ballot.

Of course, Rec and Park needs funding, as does every other city department.  But even though Proposition B  provides a guaranteed flow of funds to Rec and Park,  it comes at a high cost to the public — the City loses the ability to give that money to departments that may desperately need it and you lose the little say you have now in how Rec and Park spends its money.

How is Rec and Park funded now?

Rec and Park currently gets funding from various sources, including appropriations from the discretionary funds in the General Fund.  The pool of discretionary funds is also used to fund non-enterprise departments such as the Department of Children, Youth, and Families.   During the yearly budget process, the Board of Supervisors decides who gets what percent of those discretionary funds.

What changes if Proposition B passes?

• Proposition B mandates approximately $4.5 billion of funding for Rec and Park’s exclusive use over the next 30 years.

• Proposition B takes away from the Board of Supervisors the authority to adjust that funding during the budget process.  The Board is our voice in City government; if the Board loses their authority over Rec and Park’s funding, then we do too.

• By committing funding to Rec and Park, Proposition B potentially takes away those funds from other General Fund Departments, regardless of the level of need in those departments.   Need money for childrens’ services?  No matter how many people you send to City Hall during the budget hearings, you are not going to be able to touch the amounts reserved for Rec and Park.

• Proposition B is not a bond; there is no list of specific projects or uses for you to review.  This is just funding for Rec and Park to use as they see fit.

• There are no teeth in Proposition B’s requirement that Rec and Park adopt annual plans, including a so-called ‘equity analysis’ to ensure that the funding will be used equally all over San Francisco.   Rec and Park gets to create the equity analysis and Rec and Park gets to evaluate how well they are meeting their own goals.  No matter how unfairly the money is distributed throughout the City, the Supervisors cannot force Rec and Park to change where they spend their money.

• Even the Controller’s opinion letter states that Proposition B violates City policy and “would have a significant impact on the cost of government.”

• Once approved by the voters, the City is stuck with this set-aside for 30 years.  Proposition B can only be reversed by going back to the voters with a new Charter Amendment.

Opposing Proposition B will not deprive Rec and Park of funding; they can still make a case for their needs along with every other department during the budget process.  In fact, they are planning to ask for yet another bond in 2 years!

It is vital that the people of San Francisco have a voice through the Board as to what happens to their parks and recreation facilities.   By giving Rec and Park a blank check, Proposition B would deprive the people of this voice.

SF Tomorrow encourages you to oppose Proposition B.  For more information, and to find out how you can help, go here:

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— Kathy Howard



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