Eminent domain hearing at 2pm today, SF City Hall Rm. 416


  Kelly and I went and spoke. We were almost the last speakers, having both arrived around 230pm and didn't go until after 430 because of how many people had showed up. The good news is about 75 to 90 percent of those present were opposed to the eminent domain action. Many of them appeared to be from the Residential Builders' group. RBA head Joe O'Donague (sp?) delivered a blistering speech himself that had people clapping despite the rule against such reactions.

  The head of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers association that has been pressing for the land taking showed up in a suit, and felt moved to explain that eminent domain proponents were underrepresented there because they thought the main action would be at the Board of Supervisors meeting on the 21st (this coming Tuesday, 230pm). Score one for the home team!

  The further good news is that the commissioners moved, with one abstention, to postpone action until their next meeting, rather than giving the project the thumbs-up as had apparently been expected. A couple commissioners expressed discomfort at having to vote at this meeting, claiming they needed more information, that perhaps more time was needed for the citizens' advisory committee to weigh in, that more process might be needed, etc. While the Board of Supervisors can still do whatever they want, the lack of formal Park & Rec support when they meet on Tuesday will be a point in our favor.

  Rec & Park general manager Elizabeth Goldstein, who was seated right at the table along with the commissioners also weighed in. It was obvious from her comments that she hoped the commissioners would vote to support the land grab. My opinion of Goldstein is even lower now than it was before -- she was also a prime mover behind the new plan to crack down on off-leash dogs. The woman just seems to have little regard for people who stand in the way of her vision for the parks.

  Anyway, justice won a partial victory this round. Hopefully even more of us can show up on Tuesday.

Yours in liberty,
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