Posted by simba1947 (Francisco Da Costa) at Yahoo Groups
I was fortunate to attend the Tenant Council Meeting
at the Presidio Golf Course Cafe. The host were very
kind and offered a nice spread. The meeting started at
12:15 p.m and was well attended.
After the preliminary introduction the NPS Ranger, James Osborne gave a brief history of the Golf Course, the oldest golf course on the West Coast. The Golf Manager welcomed us and encouraged all the tenants to visit the Golf facilities and the Cafe. I have been there before and the surroundings and prices of the menu are pretty good.
The main reason I went out of my way to attend this meeting was to get a sense of this important group at "ground zero" after the stepping down of James Meadows. I was instrumental when this " Tenant Group" first started. And before them the Sustainable Presidio Alliance later called Presidio Alliance.
The Presidio tenants always wanted to work with the TRUST as partners and participate in the common goals of the Presidio National Park as laid down in the General Management Plan and the Environmental Impact Study.
For reasons better known to the TRUST this did not happen. The recent removal of James Meadows from the Trust points in the direction that there was NO accountability and that there was no TRANSPARENCY.
Good leaders know the way, show the way, and go the way. James Meadows was a LONER - he never could work as a team - hence his downfall.
Craig Middleton is a team player. He has already stated he would like to hear what others have to say - gauge their aspirations and fulfill the vision of the participants within the confines of the given mandate.
The tenants form an integral part of the Presidio of San Francisco. They live there. They work there. Since it is their home - they wish that can avail of the best of facilities and an environment that fosters growth. What is more they all would like to contribute their time and talents and this is good. We always have had a good history of good tenants at the Presidio of San Francisco.
The tenants pay huge expensive rents. Many tenants do not get the services in proportion to the rent they pay. Many of the buildings and houses have been paid hundreds times over - this was done when the Army was there. The tax payer footed the bill and so what the TRUST has today are buildings they can make a lot of money on. The TRUST knows this and the Stewart Housing Company that collects the rents knows better.
I thought I might get a chance to state some facts and so I did. I told all present that I and a few others were focused on the " Trust Bill" and I was working to incorporate new language - that reflects accountability. Better rights for the workers who work at the Presidio. Concrete language that demands transparency and accountability. This would help the Presidio workers, the tenants, the visitors, and most every one in the Park.
I also made known that the Muwekma Ohlone were going to work with the National Park Service and the Trust -as soon as they were put on the Federal Register - come April 2002. I gave the Tenant Council some sense of history. Often the Trust thinks history begins with them - or so it looks like from the way they behave and act.
I told them that I looked forward to all the tenants practicing and working on 'sustainable" concepts so that the Nation and World could look upon the Presidio as a model.
Some others spoke and it seemed for the first time the lethargic energy that once took hold of the "Tenant Council" was now exercising some enthusiasm in the progressive direction. The departure of James Meadows may be a factor - a factor that bodes some little freedom for the tenants to express their views and participate in the deliberations of the Presidio as a Park. A Park for all the people in the Nation.
The Trust has spent a lot of money. The Trust has NOT been accountable. Show casing the " Shuttle Service" and some achievements by renovating some buildings at great tax payers expense does not do justice to the tax payer and the Nation. We now know that millions of tax payers money was spent. We would like to know the break down and further why are some of the culprits who participated in these huge corrupt spending - are still around.
Income derived from the Tenants has NOT been spent wisely. It is always easy for those who receive peoples hard earned money to make long speech. Those TRUST managers who talk the talk - should walk the walk.
Some of those in attendance challenged the spending and the waste of it by the Trust. Some challenged the TRUST to attend to the environment and quicker implementation of the Forest Management Plan.
Others wanted the Tenant Council to have a web site in place. Foster better communication. This site was introduced to all - as one of many cyber sites that could further good communication. There was talk that soon a team would be formed to address the situation at hand. Right now the Tides provides a "BOARD" on which current information is posted. The Tenants Council could do better with a little help from the Trust.
It was agreed that past issues dealt with by the Tenant Council would be handed out to all and the new comers so that they had a feeling of what was done in the past.
I could spent only an hour the meeting started at 12:15 p.m. since it was 12:55 p.m. - I had to go for another meeting down town. All in all a meeting with some little hope - lots of aspirations and some little vision with this Tenant Council Meeting.
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