THE PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO AND THE YMCA
There was a time when my office the Real Estate and Property Management under the National Park Service opened the doors to the YMCA and as they are fondly called the Y at the Presidio of San Francisco.
The Y have leased a huge building very near the old Museum which consists of State of the Art Basketball facilities and other areas which the Y does a good job of Ð exercise. The building is situated on the Main Post.
What the Public does not known about is that the Y also leases two other buildings one has an Olympic size swimming pool and the building next to it another basket ball court and space for other indoor sports. These building are next to Doyle Drive and behind the Tides.
When the NPS was in charge just before the Presidio Trust took charge around 1995 the Y took charge of the facilities in a hush hush deal with Nancy Pelosi playing an important role. It is very true that the Y spent a lot of money to upgrade the three buildings. It is also true that they made a lot of money when the dot.com business was doing well.
As soon as the Y was opened I remember well Ð the Y saw to it that some high officials working for the NPS where given long term passes to use the Y. The Y used my good offices and I will leave it at that.
This may come as a shock to the Public. The Y has a policy to act sweet till they get a deal and then turn around and think that they have to be helped as and when they demand favors.
At the Presidio of San Francisco the Y always had a place much before they came in 1995. The Army saw to it that the Y was supported but the Y also saw that the Army and the Civilians were embraced. Today, the Y is a Corporate Entity and nothing is for free. They may throw a few breadcrumbs here and there but the Y operates in such a manner that they make big bucks. The Y caters to the filthy rich most of the time.
As I mentioned before when the dot.com companies were doing well and many of the dot.com folks were working and living at the Presidio Ð the Y did very well. Many rich folks lived at the Presidio and their membership fees saw that the Y had some income coming. When things were great one did not hear the Y crying and begging for favors.
The Y is a big crybaby and one could see that when they put up a fight to have a place at the WaterFront - around Piers 27-29. The Y has come full circle where they have Public Relations people who are as vicious as any other Corporation vying for big bucks.
In today's world exercising and well being of the physique is money making machine. People will eat fast food, not exercise, put on weight and then join the Y. The Y likes that. Of course there are the filthy rich who love to join the Y so that the likes of them gather and enjoy some sort of bonding while hopefully exercising.
By and large the Y does not cater to those who are middle class and poor. The Y never mentions how much they charge not only for the membership but for the other little things Ð money, that all adds up.
The Presidio Trust has made many mistakes. The biggest mistake the Presidio Trust has made is trusted the NPS and now the Presidio Trust has found out the sweet deals that the Y got initially. For many years the NPS and Presidio Trust were bedfellows Ð one worse then the other. Today it is dog eat dog.
The Y should abide by its contract. Right now it is time for the Y to pay market rate rents just like the others pay on the Presidio of San Francisco. If it cannot pay it should close its door and move. Perhaps it can improve the Y on Golden Gate Avenue, the one on Geary, the other Y sites all over the city which do not get the same attention the rich members have got at the Presidio of San Francisco.
The Presidio Trust wasted a lot of money in the millions when James Meadows was the Presidio Trust Director. The present Director Craig Middleton will follow the dictates of Toby who is the President of the Trust Board, a former Director of City Planning and a hawk when it comes to a hidden agenda. Toby wants the money and why not the Y?
I attended the last Presidio Trust Board Meeting on June 17, 2003 at 6 p.m. at the Presidio Officers Club. You could count the minorities in the audience. Once again the Presidio Trust put on a dog and pony show that was so pathetic is was not funny.
A former employee from the San Francisco Planning Department now is in charge of the Presidio Planning. She has been hand picked by Toby. Today under her charge the Presidio of San Francisco is worse off.
The Presdio Trust does not get it. The Presidio is a National Park, which belongs to all the constituents of the United States. Here is San Francisco it belongs to the Muwekma Ohlone the First People of the Area. Very little interpretation is going on at the Presidio of San Francisco. I worked at the Presidio when it was under the Army and I worked for the Presidio after that. I know the CROOKS when I see them and I can see them from a distance. It is all about big bucks!
It will be interesting to see the dog eat dog mentality at the Presidio of San Francisco. On one hand the Presidio Trust fighting the National Park Service. On the other hand the Y fighting the Presidio Trust. On most fronts the people are asking questions not only about the attitude of the Presidio Trust but the Y and the National Park Service.
We said it a long time ago that the Presidio Trust was created so that the Commercialization of Presidio of San Francisco would be put in place. What the rich folks did not see coming was the collapse of the dot.com companies. They also did not know that some one from the White House would ruin the National Economy. Just in case some one is reading this on another planet our Nation is now in debt and in the trillions of dollars.
This fight on the Presidio began some years ago. Among those the Presdio Trust wants money from is the Presidio Alliance which the Presidio Trust wanted to go away. Now in a big way it is the Y. Now may I ask whom will they take on next?
top - back