Friday, March 25, 2011

SF DPW 'Not in Possession' of the
Key for Rainbow Flag at Milk Plaza

My struggle to gain a smidgen of community control of the enormous rainbow flag and pole on municipal property continues. The history of this struggle is here and here and here and here.

A recap: the Department of Public Works has no written agreement with the Merchants of Upper Market/Castro giving the private group control of an important piece of city property, Castro Supervisor Scott Wiener is beholden to MUMC and working against activists, and efforts to meet with DPW to establish a process allowing activists to use the rainbow flag pole have come to naught, due to DPW's bureaucratic game-playing.

Gloria Chan, the information officer for DPW, has been dancing around setting up the meeting, and I recently asked her for the name of the DPW supervisor in charge of the flag pole, her or his contract info, and who had the key to the box controlling the ropes flying the rainbow flag. Her response:

Thank you for your patience and your follow-up. DPW is not in possession of the key to the flag pole that you are asking for. DPW maintains the landscaping on the plaza and based on our knowledge, we have not maintained the flag and the pole.

This is what I know thus far. I hope this does not hinder the efforts you are putting forth with respect to your cause. If I can be further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

In my follow-up, I asked her if they had thought to call a locksmith about the missing key, to explain how the city came to no longer possess the key and why all of a sudden DPW now claims it doesn't maintain the flag and pole. This has not been stated before and I feel it is one of many ever-changing aspects regarding the flag pole.

Gloria Chan was also asked how another entity was given control of city property, and where are the memos of understanding for the public to see granting this control to a private group. She has not replied to my latest questions.

Stay tuned for further developments.

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