August 2, 1999
The Executive Director
Attention: Mr James Meadows
Ref: Comments on the Letterman Complex as proposed by The Presidio Trust.
Dear Mr Meadows:
I am one of the very few who has served the Presidio of San Francisco to the best of my ability. Working for the Sixth U.S. Army and Presidio of San Francisco as their last Congressional Liaison, the Infrastructure Group under Charles Swanson, the Maintenance Technical Support, the Real Estate and Property Management, and now for the U.S. Park Police. I am as qualified as anyone of the experts to comment on the proposed Letterman Complex.
Further, I have attended most of the meetings called by the Presidio Alliance and other meetings called by neighboring community groups to discuss and evaluate the new developments and uses with the Letterman Complex as proposed by The Presidio Trust. Attending the Restoration Advisory Board meetings have given me further insight into certain factors that are linked with the Letterman Complex.
My subjective judgement is that the proposed changes do not meet certain federal mandated laws and regulations and especially the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Further more the final proposed plan does not even remotely meet the basic requirements set by the final General Management Plan (GMP) and the final Environmental Impact Study (EIS). The Trust Bill and Congress mandates that the GMP and the EIS be used as guidelines.
I have stated the above facts at several public meetings. At most of these meetings staff from The Trust and members making the final list to lease the Letterman facilities have been present.
Missing from the current Letterman process is the deliberative process which was followed by the GMP and the EIS. These two documents were documented after wide deliberative discussions involving the public and experts over a long period of time and covering the extended Bay Area.
The GMP and the EIS has no place for and does not factor a complex as large and having very little linked to the vision of the final GMP and the EIS as does the proposed complex that will substitute the present Letterman Complex. The Presidio Trust, for reasons best known to them have chosen to set abnormal standards that will come to haunt them in the long run.
It baffles me that no proper and detail analysis is shown linked to sewage, drainage, abatement and cleanup, water supply, traffic and transportation, emergency medical services and 911, natural habitat of species home to the Letterman complex, earthquakes, employment and diversity, archeological surveys and related issues, housing to name a few.
The Fire Department and the U.S. Park Police are entities that now serve the Presidio of San Francisco. The Letterman document does not address these two departments in a meaningful manner.
The Trust has chosen to follow a path that is detrimental to the deliberative process in the present circumstances. The Presidio of San Francisco and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area belongs to the people. As such, each citizen is fully qualified to participate in the deliberative process. The Presidio Trust is mandated to follow certain laws and set certain standards to permit a open and sincere deliberative process. In the case of the proposed Letterman Complex the amended Letterman EIS and other related documents have chosen a hidden agenda and diverted the public from participating in an open deliberative process that is truthful.
It is not sufficient to have meetings and prepare an agenda that does not do justice to the deliberative process, especially when the input from the public is an essential component to the end result.