Monday, June 29, 2015

"Shakeup" at the Presidio?


From Matier & Ross (below in italics) on Friday:

In a major shakeup at the Presidio, President Obama named three new members Friday to the board that helps run the national park---including Lynne Benioff, wife of Salesforce founder Marc Benioff...All three new members of the Presidio Trust board, in fact, are politically well-connected. The others are Janet Reilly, the former Golden Gate Bridge District president and wife of Democratic donor Clint Reilly; and philanthropist Nicola Miner, daughter of Oracle co-founder Bob Miner. She and her husband, writer Robert Mailer Anderson, have been big-time Democratic contributors. Obama also reappointed the Presidio Trust board’s vice chair, real estate consultant Paula Robinson Collins, to a second four-year term.

In reality President Obama deferred to whatever Senator Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi recommended for these appointments. These folks are "politically well-connected" to the Democratic Party. 

Is this really "a major shakeup" because the board rejected George Lucas's bid for a museum at the Presidio?

The appointments come 16 months after the seven-member board snubbed San Francisco’s political establishment — including Mayor Ed Lee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — and voted against awarding “Star Wars” creator George Lucas the rights to build a large museum across from Crissy Field to house his Americana arts and Hollywood memorabilia collection.

But the board voted unanimously to reject not only Lucas's museum building but the other two proposals for the site, which suggests that not reappointing the two other board members had nothing to do with the Lucas vote. 

The city's "political establishment" is disappointed that Board Chair Nancy Bechtle and Executive Director Craig Middleton didn't accept Lucas's clunky design for a museum. But Bechtle is termed out, and Middleton is retiring after working at the Presidio for 18 years. If there's any residual rancor here or if Middleton was pushed out, it's been kept under wraps.

Will the new board revisit the Lucas decision? Nope, Lucas is committed to the Chicago location for his junk "art" collection.

We should be grateful that the previous board rejected his museum building, which looked like an I-5 shopping mall.

In a major shakeup at the Presidio, President Obama named three new members Friday to the board that helps run the national park — including Lynne Benioff, wife of Salesforce founder Marc Benioff.

Lynne Benioff already sits on a number of local boards — most notably the foundation of UCSF, where she and her husband are also major benefactors.

All three new members of the Presidio Trust board, in fact, are politically well-connected. The others are Janet Reilly, the former Golden Gate Bridge District president and wife of Democratic donor Clint Reilly; and philanthropist Nicola Miner, daughter of Oracle co-founder Bob Miner. She and her husband, writer Robert Mailer Anderson, have been big-time Democratic contributors.

Obama also reappointed the Presidio Trust board’s vice chair, real estate consultant Paula Robinson Collins, to a second four-year term.

The appointments come 16 months after the seven-member board snubbed San Francisco’s political establishment — including Mayor Ed Lee and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — and voted against awarding “Star Wars” creator George Lucas the rights to build a large museum across from Crissy Field to house his Americana arts and Hollywood memorabilia collection.

The first sign of change to the trust leadership came in February when Obama named San Francisco powerhouse attorney John Keker, another contributor to Democratic causes, to the board.

Board Chair Nancy Hellman Bechtle — who was front and center in the fight over the Lucas museum and who was originally appointed to the board by then-President George W. Bush — was termed out and is leaving the panel.

Obama did not reappoint two other current members, Silicon Valley investor William Hambrecht and parks champion Charlene Harvey, to second terms.

Among the biggest decisions facing the new board will be picking a permanent replacement for freshly departed Presidio executive Craig Middleton and deciding on the design of the new public space above the Presidio Parkway — near where Lucas had hoped to build his museum.

Proposed George Lucas shopping mall

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