Supes Fail to Overturn Mayoral Veto of Sharp Park Handover

Not enough San Francisco supervisors would support overturning Mayor Ed Lee's veto of the legislation that could have transferred ownership of the golf course to the Golden Gate National Recreation area.

Legislation that could have led to the closure of was officially killed today when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors could not get enough votes to overcome a .

The ordinance, , called for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to offer a long-term management agreement to the National Park Service for Sharp Park.

The 417-acre property is owned by the city of San Francisco and has served as an 18-hole public golf course since it opened in 1932.

But partnering with the National Park Service to include the land as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area would likely result in the since federal officials indicated they were not interested in managing a golf course.

Avalos has said the golf course is losing money for the city -- operating at a $1.2 million deficit over the past five years -- and is the topic of a lawsuit by environmental groups who say golf-related activity is harming two imperiled species in the area.

The board voted 6-5 in favor of the ordinance last month, but Lee vetoed it on Dec. 19.

Today the board voted on whether to overturn the mayoral veto, but the ordinance could only muster the same six votes it received when it was initially approved.

Lee said part of the reason to issue the veto was that the proposal would prevent the city from continuing discussions with San Mateo County over management of the course.

He said today that no agreement has been struck yet, but that negotiations are ongoing and include other officials such as Rep. Jackie Speier.

The mayor also noted that a recent ruling by the federal judge in the lawsuit went against the environmental groups seeking to stop golf activities in the park to protect the San Francisco garter snake, an endangered species, and the California red-legged frog, a threatened species.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston cited data in her Nov. 29 ruling showing that the frog population in the area had actually increased in the past 20 years.

Avalos said today that he has no plans to introduce other legislation on the Sharp Park issue.

--Bay City News

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Charles January 11, 2012 at 04:48 AM
mw January 12, 2012 at 04:29 PM
"Avalos said today that he has no plans to introduce other legislation on the Sharp Park issue." This is the best part of the article. It means that Avalos feels the political debt he owed to the WEBLEEDU's (Wildly Equitable Biodiverse Litigants for Environmental Extortion and Deep Untruths) for their carpetbagging support of his mayoral campaign has been paid in full. Avalos and other supes on the board were unprepared for strength of the political blowback on this issues, and are not willing to risk taking this on again. The political battle is over, particularly when we get a couple of the Supes who voted for the Avalos ordinance thrown out of their jobs in the fall. The legal battle will go on indefinitely, of course. Shouldn't be a problem. We have a lot of problems in San Francisco, but a dearth of really good lawyers is not one of them.


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