SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A ballot measure to block San Francisco from raising or adding fees at its parks has sparked a passionate debate about how the city will fund park facilities without unduly restricting public access.

John Avalos, the supervisor behind the Parks for the Public Measure, said the gate fee for non-city residents to enter the Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens was the final straw for a department too dependent on fees and leases for its revenue.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

“We need to make sure that our general fund and our budget decisions really reflect that great affinity that we have for our parks,” Avalos said.

Avalos and the three other supervisors whose votes landed the measure on the November ballot believe more tax dollars need to be funneled into the Recreation and Parks Department.

But many of the park lovers at a Thursday hearing on the ballot measure worried that putting a stop to park fees and public-private partnerships could lead to some prized parkland disappearing entirely.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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