Like the sidewalks and streets that surround the city’s parking meters, the relationship between Uptown Partnership — the group responsible for addressing parking issues in Hillcrest, Banker’s Hill, and Mission Hills — and the residents it serves is fractured, cracking from criticism of high administrative overhead, a lack of transparency, and an unwillingness to listen to community input.
During a May 5 Uptown Planners meeting, after committee members rejected the city’s parking-meter utilization proposal, planners fell one vote shy of adopting a motion that called for the end of Uptown Partnership.
Two days later, at a Banker’s Hill/Park West subcommittee meeting, a motion passed unanimously to replace all of the nine members currently sitting on Uptown Partnership’s board of directors.
Then, in a May 6 letter from the offices of councilmembers Todd Gloria and Kevin Faulconer to Uptown Partnership executive director Carol Schultz and the parking agency’s board of directors, more criticism surfaced.
“While we remain supportive of the community parking board advisory system and would not support any effort to dismantle the Uptown Partnership, we feel that significant efforts can be made to improve the partnership’s transparency, representation, and outreach to the broader community,” reads the statement from Gloria and Faulconer.
Included in the letter were suggestions for posting financial audits and annual statements to the parking agency’s website. They also recommended adding five board members to the nine-person panel as a way to enhance community participation. Lastly, councilmembers Gloria and Faulconer encouraged the formation of a joint committee comprised of representatives from Uptown Partnership and the Hillcrest Business Improvement Association.
Schultz, the executive director for Uptown Partnership, says the board welcomed the suggestions from Gloria and Faulconer and at the board of directors meeting on May 7, many of those recommendations were adopted.
“In response to specific recommendations in their letter, the board instructed staff to disseminate audits and annual statements as outlined, directed its Operations and Finance Committee to develop a proposal for modifying governance policies, and adopted the proposal for a joint committee that was put forward by the Hillcrest Business Improvement Association.”
But according to an email from an Uptown Planners committee member, the letter from councilmembers Gloria and Faulconer fails to address some critical financial issues...namely, the annual expenditures incurred by the parking agency. For next year’s operating budget, that amounts to more than $354,000 worth of expenditures for salaries, supplies and rent.
Go to uptownpartnership.org for more financial information.