Park event organizers and patrons can rest easy — no additional bureaucracy will be required to obtain a permit.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi modified a proposed city charter amendment Friday, keeping the proposal that the mayor and Board of Supervisors split the naming of the seven-member Recreation and Park Commission and dropping another proposal that would give the Board of Appeals jurisdiction to hear appeals for special events in city parks.
The latter would have allowed the Board of Appeals to hear all appeals on events that would “significantly impact recreation and park property or the surrounding neighborhood.”
The change came after dozens of event organizers packed the Friday Board of Supervisors Rules Committee meeting. Everyone from the SF Mime troupe to the organizers of Outside Lands complained that proposed appeals process would create one more level of bureaucracy that would mean death to their events.
Many of the event organizers attended the meeting after allegedly receiving an e-mail sent by a Rec and Park employee that said the proposed amendment “would potentially allow any event permit issue by SFRPD to be appealed by any member of the public that opposes the permit.”
Mirkarimi, who called the e-mail misguided and alarmist, said the amendment would have limited the appeals process to special events held on multiple days.
The office of the controller sent a letter saying that the amendment would have little impact on the function of the Board of Appeals.
General Manager Phil Ginsburg denied that anyone in Rec and Park sent out the e-mail. But some event organizers held it in hand and the Mission Mission blog posted it on Thursday. The e-mail appears to have been sent by Dana Ketcham, manager of permits and reservations for Rec and Park. She could not be reached for comment.
Mirkarimi said he took out the section dealing with special event appeals by residents because it had been “convoluted and misrepresented,” adding that he wanted to focus on “democratizing” the Rec and Park Commission by splitting the appointees.
Under the charter amendment, scheduled to go before voters in November, the supervisors and mayor would name three appointees each. The mayor and the president of the board would then appoint the seventh member together. The mayor’s appointees would not require the board’s approval.
Almost all event organizers who attended said they did not have a formal position on splitting appointees.
Opponents of the amendment on appointees, who include Ginsburg, said they oppose it because the divisiveness between the board and the mayor would alienate philanthropists who supported the “strong mayor” system laid out by the charter.
Supporters, however, said that they feel the current representatives fail to hear their concerns.
Event organizers like Jenee Gill, managing director of the SF Mime Troupe, which regularly organizes events at Dolores Park, said she didn’t care about that power struggle.
“Have fun with that,” she said