The veto question - Page 2

Supervisors approve Saturday park closure, but will Newsom kill yet another measure prized by progressives?
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Several supervisors assailed the election argument that Garcia had circulated so vociferously, including one Healthy Saturdays opponent, Sup. Sean Elsbernd, who said neither the voter argument nor the argument that the de Young Museum would be hurt were valid.

Instead, Elsbernd said he was swayed by the concerns of park neighbors that the existing Sunday closure creates traffic problems in their neighborhoods. So he proposes that the Saturday closure happen on the west side of the park, rather than the east.

"Why can't we spread out these impacts?" Elsbernd said. "It's a simple compromise that will alleviate a lot of concerns."

Supporters of the closure have resisted that proposal, arguing that the eastern portion has most of the commercial vendors, the flattest and best-quality roads for kids just learning to ride bikes, the warmest weather, and is best served by the new 800-spot parking garage, which hasn't ever been full since it opened earlier this year.

And at this point, starting over with an alternative proposal would greatly delay the closure and ensure that the trial period doesn't generate a full summer's worth of data.

"The time is right. We have the garage open, and it's accessible," said Sup. Jake McGoldrick, who sponsored Healthy Saturdays after opposing it two years ago on the grounds that the garage wasn't yet open. He and other supporters later told us that they're open to considering any monitoring standards that Newsom may propose.

In the end, the measure was approved on a 74 vote, with Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier (who didn't speak about her reasons) joining Ma, Dufty, and Elsbernd in opposition.

"The table is set for the possibility that the mayor will veto this legislation," Sup. Gerardo Sandoval said at the hearing.

Afterward, Newsom spokesperson Peter Ragone said the mayor would make a decision on whether to veto in the next week or so. In the meantime, Ragone told reporters: "The mayor is going to continue to work with both sides on the issue to maintain a dialogue with the hope that we can reach a place where the right thing can be done."  SFBG

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