Photos by Michael Waldstein
In a coincidence of timing, Mayor Lee appointed a new District 8 Supervisor to replace Scott Wiener, who has moved on to the State Senate; and, in the January 26 meeting, Michael Rice capped his 12-year long run as president of the Glen Park Association.
In the last of more than forty neighborhood meetings, Rice noted what an honor it has been to serve our community. At the same time, he said, “I’m happy to get some of my time back!” He also observed that it’s good for the neighborhood and the association to have new leadership.
Rice listed a few of the issues he’s worked on over the years: the Glen Park Community Plan, the Glen Park Greenway, the improvements in Glen Canyon Park – while also noting the continuing challenges of transit and parking in our bustling neighborhood.
Thus the annual election of officers ushered in a new president of the Glen Park Association, Scott Stawicki, who was formerly the vice president.
Other officers elected are: Stephany Wilkes, Vice President; Dennis Mullen, Treasurer; Heather World, Recording Secretary; Bonnee Waldstein, Corresponding Secretary, and Hilary Schiraldi, Membership Secretary.
Stawicki paid tribute to Rice’s long service. “Whether you know it or not, Michael’s touched your life in many ways by his diligent work on behalf of our neighborhood. He’s got big shoes to fill.”
Newly appointed Supervisor Jeff Sheehy came to the meeting to introduce himself to the residents of Glen Park and to get a sense of their hopes and concerns. However, Sheehy has a great head start in that he’s lived in Glen Park since 2002. Along with his husband, he’s raising his 12 year-old daughter here; she is a student in one of San Francisco’s public schools.
Sheehy detailed some of his background. He’s been active in politics since 1994 when he served as president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, ending that stint in 2005. He was instrumental in passing the Equal Benefits Ordinance, which prohibits the City from contracting with entities that discriminate in providing benefits to employees with domestic partners. He is on the board the California Stem Cell Agency and is an LGBT/HIV activist.
He is a strong supporter of Scott Wiener and the work he’s done.
At the age of 60, Sheehy said he’s not after higher office, but he’s definitely going to run for the seat in 2018. At this point he just wants to work to solve the problems of District 8 and the City. He’s also motivated by the 2016 presidential election.
“Trump takes me back to 1980, when we thought there would be nuclear war and the environment was under attack by Reagan. Now the mask of amiability that Reagan had has been ripped off – the face matches the policies. The challenges we face are similar.”
Sheehy went on, “In the age of AIDS, beginning in1981, we were reviled. So many just wanted us to die. Now we have so much solidarity. Through perseverance and sacrifice, people got to know their communities, through love, not violence. Now, it’s about coming together for the City and to tone down the dissention in City Hall.”
Sheehy was peppered with questions and concerns from the audience. Among them:
- The changing character of the neighborhood: “Monster” houses are being built. In particular, concern was voiced about development of the small wedge-shaped parcel on Diamond Street that used to be tended by the Garden Club. There will be a discretionary review of the building plan on March 9 at the Planning Commission.
- Water backing up at Cayuga Street, with the heavy rains: This has been an ongoing problem and is now in litigation. “It’s not a situation that I would tolerate,” said Sheehy.
- Traffic congestion in the city: The City has provided no leadership. They haven’t reduced their use of official cars. They need to be held accountable.
- Safe, clean and reliable transit: With the MTA separate from the rest of city government, it’s very hard to have influence over policy and practices.
Scott Stawicki noted the City’s policy to build public housing on city property, in light of the housing crisis. A large part of the proposed Greenway is DPW property. Scott Wiener helped kill that policy for the Greenway, but a lot of work needs to be done to improve it as a public space.
BIKE SHARING PROGRAM:
Paolo Cosulich-Schwartz, of Bay Area Bike Share, described a project that will be coming to Glen Park in 2018. A small pilot begun in downtown San Francisco three years ago will be expanding to many communities in the Bay Area. It’s a station-based system, which now has 30 stations but is projected to have 400 over the next three years, with a goal of 7,000 bikes within two years.
A major advantage of the program is that bicycles that are obtained in one station can be returned at another. There is now a thirty-minute limit on the use of a bike, so that it would need to be switched out at another station for longer trips.
For additional details about the program, and to suggest a station, go to www.bayareabikeshare.com.
A full presentation of the Bike Share Program will be held soon.
Bike Share Expansion Workshop:
Tuesday, February 7 , 6: 30-8:00pm
4400 Mission Street