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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  May 30, 2019 2:00am-3:00am PDT

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this is the san francisco recreation and park meeting. will the clerk please call the roll? just as a quick reminder, we request that you turn off sound-producing devices. and that you take any secondary conversations outside. if you would like to speak on an item today, we request, but do not require you complete a blue card. commissioner, how many minutes? >> three minutes. >> clerk: each person has three minutes per public comment on each item. if there is an item of interest
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to you not on the agenda and is under the subject matter jurisdiction of the commission, you may speak under general public comment. that is item 4. and then continued again on item 10. please address your comments to the commission in order to allow equal time for all, neither the commission nor staff will respond to any questions during public comment. the commission may ask questions of staff after public comment is closed. last, if the fire alarms activate, you must evacuate the building in an orderly fashion using any exit. please note that elevators will immediately return to the first floor and are not available for use. if you need assistance out of the building, please make your way to the closest area of refuge, which is directly across the hall in the men's restroom. in the restroom is a speaker box, press it and city security
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will answer. we're on item 2, the president's report. >> well, it comes with great sadness and a little bit of jealousy, but mostly out of love and support that i have the responsibility to announce that our very own margaret mcarthur will be retiring at the end of june. this is after 30 years of government service. >> no, way, she's not that old. >> thank you! >> 20 years for this commission. she has been the bedrock, the foundation for this commission. deep institutional knowledge. keeps us in line. mostly keeps me in line. [laughter] reminds me of when my ethic documents are supposed to be filed. and it's going to be with, i
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guess to quote nat king cole, you're going to be unforgettable. >> thank you. >> commissioner low: you're not going to sing? >> commissioner mcdonnell: unforgettable, that's what you are. >> commissioner low: thank you. >> public comment is closed. we're now on item 3, the general manager's report. >> i will not sing. we have a brief summer update as we end the -- near the end of may. soon school will be getting out. and we're gearing up for day camp. we are offering 91 camps. so 51 sites. our camps are for ages 4-17 and
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we have over 10,000 registrations. but fear not. there are 1500 spots left, so if you are a procrastinator, there is still room for you. we have over 2000 registrations in our summer learn to swim programs. these are the most indemand programs, but there are still slots left in those programs as well. we're proud to announce that over a thousand of the summer campers are receiving scholarships this year. we're gearing up for camp mather. this is the 95th anniversary of the camp. they will be 11 weeks this summer with over a thousand families visiting and great improvements to the facilities, including the new rope course and the resurfaced tennis courts. have a good time up there. and as you know, we're one of the largest used -- one of the
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largest departments that hires youth in the summer. this summer we have over 200 teens working for us helping to support those camps i mentioned. and finally, this saturday is registration for summer programs. those are the smaller classes, one-hour classes, that type of thing, not a full camp. so that happens this saturday online or at our 14 registration sites around the city. we also have a bit of good news this week. and testament to the hard work of our employees. the controllers office has released its 2019 city survey. which is the city-wide survey of san francisco residents and their opinions of our public services. the things they experience every day from the streets to the state of the parks, muni and the libraries. and some of our highlights including our overall score was
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a b +. trailing only the library in ranking of city services. the quality of landscaping and plantings, rec centers and clubhouses, programs and activities received our highest marks. fields and courts received the biggest jump, they rose 9%. and park ratings are at their highest rates ever. thank you to our staff and the commission for guiding us to be delivering such good public service for our residents. let'splaysf! community day at merced heights. join the parks department and the parks alliance for a ground breaking event marking the beginning of two playground renovation projects. it will happen this saturday. excuse me, not this saturday. june 8 from 10:30 to noon at merced heights. this is to celebrate merced and
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alice chalmers. we had a ground breaking in the pan handle for these five projects as well. the summer solstice event at the conservatory of flowers. join us for a flower power night under the stars as we kick off the summer with the surrealist summer solstice -- say that ten times -- jam in the park. similar to previous years, this will be a fun night of free live market, psychedelic and iconic songs from various artists. it runs from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. and the light show starts at 9:15. i believe we now have a video of that ground breaking celebration.
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[ ♪ ]
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that concludes the report. >> co-chair: is there any public comment on the general manager's report? okay, being none, public comment is closed. we're now on item 4. general public comment up to 15 minutes. this item will be continued to item 10.
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at this time members of the public may address the commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the commission and that do not appear on the agenda. with respect to agenda items, you'll have the opportunity to address the commission when the item is reached in the meeting. so i have two cards. i have jackie and i have mark. if you could please come up, and then if anybody else wants to make general public comment after they're through, please come up. as a reminder, you will have three minutes. >> good morning, i'm jackie boss. i'm a parent at live oaks school, which is a school opposite jackson playground. firstly, we, the parents at live oak are so happy that you put the bathroom guards in at jackson, it's made our kids
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safer. we used to see syringes and condoms here, so now it's safe. the park hasn't been renovated since last century. at the moment there is a broken slide. the slide has been broken for 10 months. lots of things are breaking. the rendering on the wall is falling off. there is a patch in the fence. the fence is half falling off. it's in need of renovation. we would like it to be a priority park. it's a very -- at the moment it's a very popular park. it's being used a lot. and the rec park estimates are that 30,000 people will be using that. at the back of live oaks school used to be a parking lot, which is being turned into apartments
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and there are high density apartments coming up everywhere. after i drop the kids at school, i've tried to go for a run and there is nowhere to run other than the playground. it's all uphill and then there is industrial areas, so you need to use the playgrounds there. this is kira. she wanted me to tell you she's going to live oaks school in kindergarten in the fall. the old people in potrero hill rely on jackson playground. it's the one that all the people want to have facilities at. sometimes when we've got a permit for soccer to play at jackson playground, they put six teams on at once. it's a very heavily used playground. does this work if i put pictures? do you want to see pictures of the broken slide, the broken fence? >> i took some this morning.
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this is -- that is like the patched up concrete. the whole park is full of patches like this. the tiles that the kids run on. kids trip on the tiles. this is -- all of the concrete rendering is falling off like this. it's a pretty rundown playground. there is under the swings, the tires are falling off. this is an example -- there is a lot of play structures. the kids use these and there is concrete underneath. thank you. >> clerk: mark? >> hi, mark sabatino. i need your help with an ongoing issue at the top of bernal
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heights. we live at 95 andover street, that is a paper street that abuts the boulevard just to the west of the top entrance. we bought our house in 1997 and at the time there was an up hill piece of land fenced into the house that we inquired with the city if we could purchase, they said, no, we could take care of it. we've been taking care of the property for 20 years. the fence fell into disrepair a couple of years ago so we replaced it with a redwood fence and our neighbor behind us followed suit and extended the fence to replace the cyclone fence she had. that was a continuation of the cyclone fence. there was a complaint made about the fence reported to rec and park because they took over the property in 2004.
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after we advocated to have the gate moved. rec and park ordered us to take down the fence and we've since been in conversation with you about that. but we've had recent events that have gone south on our trying to work through that in a manner that satisfies our need for safety and privacy. there was -- we were asked to sign a letter saying that the property wasn't ours, which we have no problem is. we've went through negotiations with director of operations, dennis kearn, how we could make the property accessible to the public, but also protect us. after a couple of conversations, we agreed we would lower the fence from 72 inches to 42. we did that earlier this year. and then we had an incident on
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the hill in february where a car crashed through the gate of the entrance of the park right next to our house and was lit on fire close our house. and we're just feeling very vulnerable up there. we've had our house tagged since then and we recently received a letter from mr. kearn, after making the modifications we agreed upon, to remove the entire fence. this would open up the hillside to the public and we have a lot of not safe traffic up there at night and we're asking to get a setback where we can put up a barrier, a wall, a few feet off our house at the lower part of the property to separate us from the goings on in the park. so that is -- we need help. >> commissioner low: thank you.
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>> clerk: is there anyone else? come on up. >> i'll be brief. i also live at 95 andover. i want to make it clear that we, as mark said, we never said the land was ours. we were told to care for the land which we did and have spent a lot of money with retaining walls and caring for dead trees and keeping the fox tails trimmed. we don't want the land. we would love the city to take it back over. all we're asking for is a few feet off of our doorstep, so that when there is car fires, people have dead bodies dropped near our house. nightly activity up there, the drinking and the partying is very dangerous and it's right at our doorsteps. all we ask is for a safety barrier. our house has been tagged. we've had cars pull up every night. it's an ongoing issue. i'm afraid we'll need to be calling 911 instead of the
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nonemergency number. i don't want to live that way. i love san francisco. i want to stay in my home. i'm just looking for safety. that's all, thank you. >> commissioner low: thank you. >> clerk: anyone else who would like to make general public comment at this time? come on up. >> good morning. my name is olga. i'm a resident of bernal heights, native of san francisco. and i'm one of the individuals that are -- that brought this issue up to the rec park department. one of the individuals, because it's not just me. we would -- they can have a fence, the sabatinos, i understand their concerns. we have a backyard fence that fronts the street. and we have a fence there, you know, protecting us.
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but it's on our property line. and that is what we ask. we ask that the fence be adjacent or on the property line. that's what we ask. we face wool street. our backyard. i've got an e-mail from rec park to the city attorneys office talking about the lots that now have been extended where there are encroachments into albertbe hill park. this is rec park land. it's not private property. and it looks like private property. i went up there before the hearing just to see if anything is done. they did lower the gate to the size of the fence, but it still looks like private property. no one is going to go in there, even though it's supposed to be open to the public. no one knows it's public property. and it's just going to continue
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and other neighbors are going to encroach and there is an e-mail from a constituent to rec park, december of -- november of 2017, and he first reported it. he sent another e-mail to rec park saying that beverly has encroached and continued on with the fence and she was laughing saying her car port is on rec park land. it's egregious to me that this happened. there is a -- here i go again with this -- there is a letter -- a picture i want you to see. hopefully, it will be the right one. sorry. sorry.
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is that the first tone? hopefully, i'll find it. oh, that's it. i closed it. okay. well, let's see how this goes. so this in our records request to rec park, this is inside. that is rec park property. >> commissioner low: thank you. >> clerk: is there anyone else who would like to make public comment? come on up. >> commissioners, good morning. my name is bud ryerson. i'm a resident of bernal heights. for several years we've been concerned by the encroachment that we see all over bernal hill park. one of our neighbors has bragged to us that he built his swimming
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pool entirely on rec park property. he actually did. your own rec park department has recommended a full survey of the southern border of bernal hill park and we think that is a good idea. last month we spoke to you about the encroachment of the property owners at mull tree and andover street into bernal hill park. since then, we've learned that -- since then we learned that encroachment notices have been sent to the property owners and they've been given until the end of this month to remove the fence they built without permission on park property. we enthusiastically support this decision. but it's not the end of the month yet. encroachment notices have been sent to the property owners before, and before their lawyers have responded by threatening to
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sue the city, to enjoin rec park from taking down their fence. so here today, in front of you, we urge these two encroaching property owners to call off their lawyers to join with the neighbors, to take down the fence they constructed without permission and restore our public parkland to the public. it's just that simple. it's easy and it's the right thing to do. and we commend rec park for doing the right thing. and we thank you for your time. >> clerk: is there anyone else who would like to make general public comment? being none, this item is closed. we're now on the consent calendar. i do have one member of the public, richard. >> good morning. i'm just trying to take another
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look at the issue, i just had a conversation with supervisor sandra lee fewer and there was something to do with the cost of the place, as well as things around the particular project. i, myself, was very enthusiastic when i heard about the $5 million from the parcel tax, $12 per par sex they were able to get just about $5 million. i like that very much. and then there was the other park, we had the foundation, 25.5 and we have the environmental justice cleanup. but one thing i kept on hammering over is the cost of the particular project. the parks are only dealing with one, two, three small parcels and has a cost that goes up to 120 by the time it gets built,
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$125 million. and in the back of your mind, if you remember -- if you can be patient with me for a minute, there is a problem with, what do you get from this particular project? i'm looking at the fiduciary relationships. i'm hoping that the developers of the 1500 units would be more generous to this particular project. it has very high estimate cost. and if you compare it to the embarcadero center, $50 million for the whole place during the year 2000? so we're jumping way up scale on the property value. that's all i have to say about that particular piece. it is good work that the people of the project -- the project manager getting the funding. i like that very much. one small other thing to say about the japanese teagarden and
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maintenance fund part. at committee there was estimate of $1-2 million. and there was a few remarks about such costs. i wanted to include the entire small fence compound instead of just the wooden pagoda unless you really develop the entire area, which isn't in the plan. commissioner buell had pointed out that people were willing to repair the wood work. but the $1-2 million estimate, i would like them to include the entire compound. thank you. >> thank you. >> clerk: anyone else who would like to make public comment on the consent calendar? seeing none, this item is closed. motion? >> moved. is there a second. all in favor?
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. motion carries. >> clerk: we're on item 6, the san francisco zoo. >> good morning. my name is chris conners, i'm the vice president of operations at the san francisco zoo and i have a power point presentation on what is going on at the zoo this month. it is spring and that means babies. [laughter] two weeks ago we announced a contest to name our four new prairie dog pups. the public could commit up to four names. we received nearly 700 entries, comprised of 2700 submissions with the most popular name as blossom. the winning names chosen were sprout, radish, walnut and
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meadow, which won over many "game of thrones" character names. [laughter] video b role was sent out and it was picked up by pretty much everyone here in the area. cbs local and multi-social media outlets. in continuing with our 90th anniversary, we have opened up the zoo an hour early every weekend in may. and we're also offering free guided garden tours with paid admission or zoo membership. phase 2 of our grade a passage, which is the outdoor exhibit, is nearing completion with plans to open in early june. as you can see, we're now installing the mesh which will be followed by the completion of climbing structures, installing a bio floor, visitor pathway and signage.
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on may 4th, san francisco zoo conservation team released 142 rare red-legged frogs. the team has been working hard to raise the near extinct frogs to reintroduce the species to the areas which they disappeared. over the past three years, the program has reintroduced 4,000 california red-legged frogs and tadpoles. we're proud to work in hand with the park service, federal and state agencies to ensure the environmental health and the resurgence of a threatened species. the zoo is doing a cross promotion with act with their show rhinocerous. they receive a discount on
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tickets and members receive 20% discount on new zoo memberships and daily admission during the run of the show. we think this collaboration should expose the zoo to a new audience and also drive revenue during the last month of our fiscal year. with summer, we have a very successful zoo camp program. zoo camp is a weekly day camp that runs during the summer break for children 4-14. campers can explore our 100-acre classroom to learn about wildlife, ecosystem, science and conservation. each camp week is full of timeout in the zoo, talks and more. zoo camp has become one of the most popular camps in the bay area. this was no different as we filled over 1100 spots during the first day of registration. not only does zoo camp provide a fun and educational experience for children, but furthers the
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san francisco zoo to connect, care and conserve for future generations. on june 8, the weekend of june 8th will be world oceans day. we're calling it world oceans weekend at the zoo. we'll be featuring the best of the international film festival that takes place here in san francisco. you'd be able to come to the zoo on saturday and sunday and see the best of the international film festival shorts all weekend. with that, i finish my report. >> clerk: is there anyone who would like to make public comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. commissioners, this was discussion only. thank you. we're now on item 7. japanese teagarden, coit tower elevator, san francisco botanical gardens, conservatory of flowers, flexible pricing.
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>> good morning, commissioners. margaret, i have a slide show. >> commissioner low: power point. >> power point. i don't know what the technical word is trigger it. any way i'm here to present an agenda item to recommend to the board of supervisors to authorize flexible pricing for nonresident adult fees only at the teagarden, coit tower elevator, san francisco botanical gardens and conservatory of flowers. let me explain a little bit of what it does. it allows adjustments to nonresident adult regular rates of up to 50% and decreases up to
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25%. it applies to four major tourist locations. the japanese teagardens, the conservatory of flowers, the botanical gardens and the coit tower elevator. the viewing of the murals is free. it does not apply to san francisco residents and it doesn't apply to any seniors or youth. those fees are all going to be static. one there are several reasons this was implemented. one is that the department is about to launch into a san francisco for all pass that is being sponsored by the city, which would include the japanese teagardens and the conservatory of flowers. it doesn't include the botanical garden because it's already free. and it doesn't include the coit tower mural, those are free. and it doesn't include the
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elevator because it's not a cultural experience. it covered 25% of the city population. part of the reason for this was to generate a modest amount of additional funding for participation in the program. but this are other reasons -- there are other reasons we're doing this. we want to try to offer congestion pricing at our most -- our busiest locations. and this would be to encourage people to come early in the day or late in the day when it's not busy, to improve the tourist experience. i think of it as similar to movie matinees. it's much less crowded in matinees, there is a cheaper price. this would encourage people to come in the off-peak times. the japanese teagarden is beautiful early in the morning and less crowded. we're encouraging that attendance. it also provides flexibility. if there is inclement weather, we could lower the price and
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encourage people to come out at a discount. if there is part of the site is shut down or there is a special installation, we could do a little bit of adjustment in the prices in those as well. what are the fees that are impacted? it's a $9 fee under the current park code of each of the sites. you can see the number of visitors. the maximum increase would be $4.50. and the maximum decrease would be a reduction of $2.25. just to give you an idea of how this relates to fees that are charged at other similar places. and other places have this flexible pricing to encourage attendance at different times. the new york botanical garden $28 on weekends, $23 on weekdays.
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our maximum fee, if we went there, the only one it would exceed would be the philadelphia japanese teagarden and the missouri botanical gardens. in richmond, virginia. the pricing is very -- our pricing is very modest relative to other tourist attractions in other cities. how would we implement this? so we're not increasing fees at the last minute because we want to impact peoples' behavior. the idea is to publish alternative rates that would enable people to know. so it would come out 30 days in advance. it would be on the website. we would promote it through concierge. and they have no objection to the proposal. so we might lower the fee to $8 early bird price from 9-10.
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off peak price, which is the current price $9, up to $11 or $12. and then peak price that is priced higher during the peak times. we could also look at fee reductions during the winter months when attendance is much lower to try to encourage people during longer off-peak hours to come out and see these sites. we could also look at higher summer and lower winter. tourists will be able to plan trips based on information. i think that is a very important factor. it has to be out there. we're not increasing any prices at the last minute. we want people to know about this. we can do last-minute rain day discounts. we can add on our website, check here for rain, inclement weather discounts and tweet it out to people who use that service. we're going to do this cautiously.
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and with notice. and all fee adjustments have to be approved by the general manager or his designee. our vendors are not making the decisions on their own. this proposal has been supported by the san francisco parks alliance, teagarden, botanical garden and richard rossman opponent john gallen jer and you've received two letters on this as well. >> clerk: we do have public comment. okay, so public comment, i have stephen, mary, sandra so start with. remember, it's three minutes apiece. good morning, this morning, your
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name popped into my head. this place would not be an institution without you. and then surprise. congratulations to you. i'm on the board, friends of claren park and a member of the park and rec committee. i sent a letter on may 10, after reading the op-ed piece on surge pricing or tourist trap as they called it and immediately got a phone call from my sister saying what did you do from new hampshire? if i come out to san francisco, am i going to pay higher prices? and dana immediately called me. we had a long conversation on monday. i understand where we're going with this. although i have a problem with pricing at different levels or different times, i'm retracting
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my letter in opposition and i want to thank dana for speaking to me. she also informed he they will be at the june prozac meeting to talk about this item. thank you. >> clerk: next speaker, please. >> good morning, commissioners. my name is mary. i live in san francisco -- >> clerk: could you speak into the mic? >> i live in san francisco in the forest hill neighborhood. i'm a board member of the san francisco botanical garden where i have been involved heavily for the last 21 years. i come here to speak in favor of flexible pricing. the botanical garden is much more popular than ever for tourists. last year we hit all-time high of 455,000 visitors. it's 55 acres with 9,000 plants. many endangered and rare. we provide a very unique and
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wonderful visitor experience. trip advisor, facebook, google, give us 4.5 or greater out of 5 for visitor experience. these reviews speak for themselves. visitors love the botanical garden and are willing to pay. i can tell you that they often express tremendous thanks for what they experience. the revenue from admissions makes a very big and significant difference in the quality of the experience that we can provide for our visitors. we're much more than a park. we're a living museum. and the revenue from admissions helps to support the interpretive services that we offer. i became involved 21 years ago with the garden to learn about plants and it has changed my life. my goal in supporting with money and time lots of both, as much as i can, is to introduce and
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educate people about the fascinating properties and beauty of plants in the plant world. this stimulates people to learn more, to experience the wonder and the connection to the natural world that we can provide. it also makes people inspired to want to protect it. and this is especially true of young people for whom it's often the experience, it's often a gateway to the world of science. studies have shown that spending time in nature with beauty is also good for our minds and bodies and i have wanted to expand and make this a most quality experience for visitors. i think that we are able to do that thanks to having the fees that we collect. so i heartily support this measure. >> commissioner low: thank you. >> clerk: stephen, come on up. i'm going to call off a few more names. sandra, vanessa, joseph, mary
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and i think, lucy. okay, that's everyone. go ahead. >> good morning. my name is stephen. i work as a gardener at the japanese teagarden. i am here to support the flexible pricing and i will talk specifically to the japanese teagarden because that's where my experience lies. a japanese garden, one of its main functions is to create to space where people can come, relax and sort of escape their busy hectic lives. and there are times, weekend days during the summer, where it's so busy, i worry that experience that people are coming to have is diminished by the volume of people that show up. working in the garden, i feel a distinct change in tone when the crowds get up to a certain level, both in how the garden feels and how the garden is treated. people tend to spill out over the paths and into the planting
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beds more when the garden is more crowded. and so because of those reasons, i would support the flexible pricing with the hope that maybe we could disperse some of the heavy traffic into the lighter traffic times. >> clerk: next speaker, please. if i called your name, come on up. >> good morning, commissioners. my name is mary. i am with friends of the japanese teagarden. i'm here to speak in support of the flexible pricing. i've lived in the richmond district 30 odd years and i find the teagarden to be a very spiritual, peaceful, sanctuary at certain times of the day. i've recently been there in the morning and have really been able to enjoy the quiet, the solitude, the small plants, the
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animals that come by. and i've been there in the middle of the afternoon, where that experience for me is not a possibility. the density, the noise, just doesn't allow for that kind of experience. so i think the flexible pricing, with good information going out to the majority of the visitors who are the tourists coming in, would be a very supportive plan that would also help to support my primary goal at this time, which is to repair the pagoda, which is in such dire straits. i think it's an opportunity to bring in new income without impacting the residents of the city, or the lower income residents of the city and still -- i think when you're coming here as a tourist, you don't count your money the same
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way you might as if you're here as a resident and you want to make frequent visits. so, thank you for your time this morning. >> commissioner low: thank you. >> clerk: next speaker, please. >> good morning, commissioners. my name is lucy fisher. i'm a resident of san francisco. i've been here about 50 years. i live about a mile from the lodge in golden gate park. i don't want to sound like a broken record because i am supporting what my colleagues have been saying and also it sounds as if what dana's group has put together is a thorough research into why flexible scheduling would work for everyone involved. the only other thing i want to
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bring up is, kat, your comment at the last meeting, i remember what you said about coming here as a child -- i think 7 years old -- 7 years young, yes, and how much you remembered your experience there. and i want to make sure that other 7-year-olds also have that experience and not have to run over each other to get up on the drum bridge. and, tom, i know you're intimately associated and have a long history with the japanese teagarden, so thank you, commissioners. >> clerk: next speaker. >> i'm the director of operations and administration in the conservatory of flowers. i'm here to support the flexible pricing plan. due to the nature of the
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conservatory's victorian architecture, the hallways are very narrow. and during our peak times people -- it definitely has an impact to our experience and our building and collection has a great impact to the large amount of people that move through the building. in order to protect the building and the collection, we stagger entry into the conservatory, which means at peak times, people can stand outside in line for up to 45 minutes. and can leave, which can greatly impact our ability to collect admissions and welcome people at this amazing institution. we do believe that the flexible pricing plan allows us to control crowd. >> clerk: next speaker. >> good morning, commissioners.
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i'm sandra swanson. i'm on the conservatory of flowers advisory board. i chaired the kickoff benefit for the conservatory of flowers restoration in 1998 and i've chaired garden feast. we're all connected, the people who are involved with these charitables and the institutions as well. i'm pleased to be here to support the nonresident flexible pricing plan for our four major rec and park draws. this is sensible and equitable proposal and sensitive to our institutions, our residents and nonresidents. less congestion is key to its success. less congestion means a higher quality experience and a higher return visit rate. it translate to additional resources for our institutions. for even higher quality. we all rise together. thank you. >> clerk: joseph.
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>> good morning, commissioners. i'm joe. i'm a resident of forest hill in san francisco. and it's just a hop, skip and a jump to go down to the botanical garden where i'm there at least two times a week. it's a wonderful place to be. i am a doseant, volunteer, member of the board of trustees of the society and a donor. and i've been involved for about 24 years. ever since my partial retirement from ucsf. i'm here to speak in favor of the flexible pricing proposal. currently, you know, the botanical garden is free to all san francisco county residents. members, school groups, every
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day. we're free also to everyone from 7:30 in the morning until about 9. also on the second tuesday of every month, on thanksgiving day, new year's day and the busiest day of the year, christmas day. since august 10th, when we began charging nonresident admission, the visitation to the botanical garden has increased over 130%. 169% in nonresidents, 70% in residents. and nearly a $1 million has been raised from the -- for the garden improvement fund. pays for things like irrigation, planting pathways, other horticultural infrastructure improvements. about a million and a quarter has been generated for education
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programs. the important thing is, we have 13,000 school kids who come into the garden every year. and so these funds are really needed to keep the garden beautiful. and continue delivery of our educational programs. according to the american public garden association, currently we're at about the 25th percentile in terms of our fee. our admission fee. and if we were to increase as has been proposed, it would be the 50th percentile. briefly, i want to mention -- [bell ringing]. >> you have 30 more seconds. >> oh, good. okay. i just want to mention recently, i was talking to a young man, a clerk in a grocery store. i had my t-shirt on, had the botanical garden, he said that was the best place i went to for
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a field trip when i was a student in the san francisco schools. and i just want to mention the neurologist jeffrey oliver sachs has mentioned the value of being in gardens. >> clerk: anyone else who would like this speak on this item? come on up. >> hello, commissioners. i'm cloud with the san francisco parks alliance. my position is associate director of partner experience. i spoke at the may 2nd operations committee on behalf of sfpa in support of the flexible pricing proposal. we believe that dana and her team put together a very commonsense, reasonable and rational idea regarding flexible pricing. i've also heard it called yield management. it's in many types of industries and it's nice to see it here for our parks. i just also wanted to mention
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that the parks alliance sponsors about 100 partners, capital p, and two of those fwrups are the conservatory flowers and the japanese teagarden. we will work with the garden to raise private funds in support of the pagoda and make it truly one of san francisco's -- not only major attractions, but to support the fact that it's truly, as i mentioned in the last meeting, a stunning, stunning sight that i bring family and friends to. and as a san francisco native myself, growing up here, went there often and it was just an out of world experience and i'm glad it's still around and for other people to enjoy as well. thank you. >> clerk: richard. >> hello. i'm going to be in favor of this surge pricing. i like it very much. and there is also a story i had in mind. it was when we got back from
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vietnam. it was john lawson, the lieutenant, in charge of the team. i'm a navy corps man. he arrived, came to the city, called me up. we went to the japanese teagarden. he would have have his wife with his soon-to-be daughter christine. i don't know if he had john junior yet. so when i wanted to bring in the part about the military. the places that dana has already mentioned, not just military, but the veteran people. i don't think too many people have spoken up on the behalf of such honorable people. thank you. >> clerk: anyone else who would like to make public comment on
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this item? being none, public comment is closed. >> commissioner anderson. >> commissioner anderson: i appreciate all of our volunteers and stakeholders to come out and share what is going on in these gems of our park system. i just wanted to comment. one of my daily jobs is i work with the media and i mean it's no surprise that sort of bombastic and overly flowery language and you know, densely descriptive words are used, but i think it's irresponsible that the word surge was used in this case. you know, i do believe that the writers particularly in our local papers try to be very accurate, the people that create the headlines that aren't so accurate. but if you look up surge, it means a sudden powerful forward
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and upward movement. this is not what we're talking about. we're talking about flexible pricing that has a 30-day time line, is that right, dana? about. we're still in process here trying to figure out what the community would like to support. but we're talking about also opportunities to bring prices down. and to communicate, for example, on a rainy day that someone might be able to enjoy reduced price and not have to fight a crowd. i find that what we're talking about is commonsense and rational. and something that should be supported by all of us, particularly because we're talking about, not only reducing prices, but we're still talking about prices that are quite low. and because our city and rec and park have done such a successful job with our parks and citizens have voted bonds and provided more resources to the parks, our parks are better than ever.
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they're beautiful. they're internationally known and therefore more people are coming, which means more impact on our parks and more demand for resources to help take care of our parks. and we have to look at every way that we can to get those resources and to take care of our parks. i'm struggling to figure out what the objections are here. [please stand by] [please stand by]
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the idea that we're overplaying the idea to increase pricing in the same breath we say we need morrow sources. if we need more resources, we're going to need to increase pricing in the moments when we think it is the greatest advantage for us to sustain these beautiful parks and open spaces. that is a good thing. what is unclear to me, dana, in the language, a, there is no
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timing around when notification happens up or down, and then the -- let me stop there. let's start with that one. >> while our intent is to implement this in an intelligent and thoughtful way, and if our intents is to ensure that the public has a good experience, last-minute increases in pricing is not doing a public service and not what we're all about. we want to make sure that people know what the prices are, when they're going to do it. if we're going to have a higher price at certain parts of the day, our intents has been that it would be noticed at least 30 days in advance, it would be out there, people would be aware of it. they're not showing up and finding an increase in price. the decrease might have to happen quickly. for instance, if it's raining, take today, you have to make judgments because you don't know what the weather is going to be.