Now open for RSVPs. Not a walk this time. I will be in the back part of the hearing room with my usual big green hat. I have not yet seen the room. It is on the first floor I am told. Each member of the public will be allowed to make comments up to 3 minutes.
This will give us a chance to vent about the Botanical Gardens public park being taken away from the public and given to the Botanical Garden Society (BGS) to turn into their private exclusive museum. The hearing on the Botanical Gardens is before the San Francisco Arts Commission, Civic Design Review. It will deal with approving the design for giant new buildings the BGS wants to be put into the gardens. Their plan is to turn the park into a museum where everyone pays except their members.
I know there are now at least a few of our members who want the Botanical Gardens to be free again for everyone as it was for 70 years. Please join me if you can. I know it is a work day which will exclude the vast majority from attending. Perhaps afterwards we will have some time to talk.
Here is how we became a part of this: One day when approaching our traditional Botanical Gardens lunch spot, on our "Mosaic Stairway Walk," we were shocked to find our way blocked by a kiosk demanding $7 to enter.
These fees were recently extended in a 10 year contract thanks to the Botanical Garden Society (BGS) which spent at least $70,000 from BGS funds to hire a lobbyist to push the fees/contract through the Board of Supervisors. The lobbyist also donated large amounts of money to supervisor candidates. The BGS's new contract with City Hall gives their group and members many special privileges such as no fees for themselves while the city and the public get cheated. We can still stop this.