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9-27-10 DPW Meeting Notes

9-27-10 DPW Meeting Notes

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Published by Dolores Park Works

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Published by: Dolores Park Works on Oct 05, 2010
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Dolores Park Works9/27/10 Community Meeting NotesSubject: RPD Outreach and Food Vendors in DP
Rob Lord, Dolores Park WorksVicki Bell, Neighborhood Parks Council
Phil Ginsburg, Rec and Park 
 Nicole Avril, Rec and Park 
 Nick Kinsey, Rec and Park Eric Anderson, Rec and Park 
Caleb Zigas, La Cocina
 Mike Hamm, Blue Bottle
Crystal Vann Wallstrom, Dolores Park Works
Rob Lord Dolores Park Works:
Don’t have a community park. We have adestination park. We didn’t seem to have a group that focused on what would bethe highest priority for largest # of users. Examples include bathrooms and trashbins. Crystal has done a lot of get portapotties out there on weekends.We talked to vendors, community members about the food vendor issue andrealized there was not a lot of awareness, but a lot of concern. Our role is not totake sides but to ensure that communication process between RPD and patronsis improved.
Phil Ginsberg
- General Manager of the RPD. This is an incredibly iconic park and it’s an important part of my own life. Used to live on 19
. My daugher’s 1
 ride on the swings was in DP. His first volunteer effort was in Dolores Park withFriends of Dolores Park. This park always has a special place in my heart.Introductions:Eric Anderson - Park Service Area Manager. Responsible for overall
maintenance of DP and other parksNicole Avril – Director of Partnerships and Resource Development. Herrole is profound. She carries the burden of generating the revenue for ourdept that keeps us avoid laying off critical staff.I thought it was important to take a step back from has been a very “caffeinated”conversation about food carts in DP and talk a little bit about the bigger pictureand why we are here:Introductions continue:Nick 
Kinsey, part of Nicole’s staff.Commissioner Gloria Bonilla is here today.
Todd Rufo – from the Mayor’s Office of Economic and WorkforceDevelopment.I know that there are mixed feelings about our proposal with respect to coffeecarts. I also know that amenities are a concern and are about profits.We’ve heard you and we’re listening. Nicole’s team is a start-up. We’ve neverbeen in revenue business before. Never have we faced the challenge of reallybeing on our own in making parks sustainable.There are people excited about having extra amenities and people concernedabout them. There one thing that unites us – our love for DP. DP is not justloved in this neighborhood. It is loved over the city. In some ways, overloaded.We think average might be 3,000 a day. 1.2 million patrons a year. To put that inperspective – Golden Gate Park which is the 3 or 4 most visited park in U.S. gets13 million visitors.Here to say thank you to everyone that volunteers in our park, cares for thepark and to Crystal, Rob and Robert for Dolores Park Works…become a valuedand important partner…[Talk about capital improvements in park…]SF has been faced with unprecedented budget cuts and SFRPD has taken it on thechin. While we all love our parks, from a city budgeting perspective, public safetyand health and human services will always come first.
 This dept has faced $35 million in cuts over the last 5 years. Last year alone wereasked to cut $12.4 million out of our operating budget - a 20% cut to our generalfund subsidy. We have about $115 million operating budget from three primarysources of funding:1) Small set aside from prop tax for open space fund- intended to be usedfor acquisition and development of open space, but is mainly used just tomaintain.2) Revenue that we earn, approx $27 million. We get it from the 49ers -who we are scared to death are going to leave town, parking garages,program fees, special events like Outside Lands, concessions, and realestate – almost 1/3 of overall operating budget.3) Remaining 1/3 is our general fund subsidy budget. And that has been cutand cut and cut.Important to think economics of this park. I think everyone agrees this park could use some more support from RPD. (Nobody disagreed). RPD is about 200gardeners short based on the acres that we have. We have over 4000 acres of open space. We are short 60 custodians and 30 park patrols. On top of that wehave $1.7 billion of deferred maintenance needs. Pretty profound.What it costs to operate DP $350,000 over a fiscal year. We spend $215,000 ingardening (incl some overtime) and 2 full-time gardeners. Have a gardenersupervisor who has other parks and spends 1/5
of time at DP. Custodian whospends 30% of their time, a custodian supervisor (part of their time). Park patrol -you know park patrol is out here quite a bit. $70,000 of structural maintenance --primarily irrigation and graffiti costs plus w/a few construction materials thrownin and we’re about $350,000. If I had to apply that 20% budget cut of DP, that’s$70,000. So pick your poison.But we didn’t. We didn’t cut a thing from DP. You know why? Because we arelistening. We do know how loved and how used and how desperate this park is.We didn’t cut a thing, even though we’ve had a 20% reduction across the board.And of that $12.4 million in cuts, Nicole and her team have agreed to provide$8.4 million in new revenue. Every dollar this dept raises is one less that we haveto cut. It’s a simple math problem folks.Putting aside the question of whether this is actually a pleasing popularopportunity. This is a big park. The schlep from 20
and church to 18
andDolores may be only 10 or 15 to us, but if you’ve got a toddler, that’s a
day’s journey, folks. There’s a big picture here. These two concessions are expected to

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