The Strange Story of …

by on April 8, 2011

To the Editors:

How can you be so completely uninformed and wrong on this? is it deliberate? See below: Fri, Apr 1, 2011On Wed. April 6th at 1PM the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee will meet to decide the fate of the Arboretum.Mayor Edwin Lee wants the fees to be made permanent, but there are two competing ordinances one of which will end the misbegotten fee experiment early. Attached please find one PDF containing the two ordinances for the Arboretum (one which makes the fees, sponsored by the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society and the Mayor, permanent, the other, initiated by Supervisor John Avalos, permanent .The report by Budget Analyst Harvey Rose, included in this PDF, is amazing to read.This file is also online here: The most recent edition of the Strybing Arboretum Gazette, an anti-fee publication, is here: 2011 Arboretum Gazette.pdf Q and A about the Arboretum Fees are here: These are my conclusions:Cogent Pointsò Harvey Rose is saying that RPD revenue figures for the Arboretum are wildly optimistic.ò Irritated visitors, pissed off that they are being charged a discriminatory $7 fee, may not return to San Francisco, nor may they recommend a visit to their friends. A fee means that numerous visitors will not come to the Inner Sunset at all, thus losing business for neighborhood restaurants and shops. This also decreases City tax revenues. Hours have been cut, while costs remain static. The City pays about $4,700 per day to keep the Arboretum open. ($1.7 million/365). That is $600 per hour if the gardens are open eight hours per day. If, however, the gardens were to be open ten hours per day, the operating cost would drop to $465 per hour. Cutting hours to serve the interests of the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society actually raises
the cost of the facility to the taxpayer and hampers use. Extending hours is advisable, as is more local resident input!

Harry Pariser

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