See our November 2022 SF Election Guide for a nonpartisan analysis of measures and contests on the ballot in San Francisco for the election occurring Nov. 8, 2022. Voters will consider the following proposition in that election.
Proposition N would give the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department control of the Music Concourse Garage in Golden Gate Park. The 800-space parking garage is managed by a nonprofit created by a ballot measure in 1998 that raised private donations to help finance the facility. Supporters of Proposition N cite a series of financial scandals and mismanagement of the garage and say the parking lot is underutilized because parking rates are set too high. They want to amend the earlier ballot measure to give control of the facility to Rec and Park.
This measure requires more than 50% affirmative votes to pass.
Proposition N would overturn part of a ballot measure (then-Proposition J) passed by voters in June 1998 that placed construction of the Music Concourse Garage in Golden Gate Park in the hands of a nonprofit called the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority.
The authority took over management of the garage from the Music Concourse Community Partnership, another nonprofit created to raise tax deductible donations to build the 800-space garage. Organizers raised $36 million of the $55 million needed to build the garage. Ongoing profits from the garage were supposed to pay off loans taken out to cover the balance.
The original measure also called for any excess parking funds to be returned to the operation, maintenance, improvement or enhancement of Golden Gate Park. No such funds have been distributed.
In 2008, a $4 million embezzlement scandal by a former chief financial officer rocked the original fundraising nonprofit. Since then, the concourse authority has struggled to pay rent to the city.
Critics of the nonprofit said that the parking spaces are overpriced, with many of the 800 parking spaces often going unused. They also criticize the authority for not providing discounts to park employees who work in the De Young Museum, California Academy of Sciences and other attractions near the garage.
No opponents to the measure have placed a counter argument for maintaining the current system in the official ballot pamphlet.
Mayor London Breed issued the “Official Proponent Argument.” She said that the passage of Proposition N would allow the city “to spend public dollars on the garage, which creates flexibility over the management and parking rates.” She said the change would make it possible for the city to offer discounts to low-income and disabled visitors who drive to the park. The mayor said that “flexible pricing” will also allow the city to pay down the debt incurred from building the garage.