Today's San Francisco Examiner story alleging that the city's park gardeners are AWOL half the time is bogus, and stemmed from a misreading of a controller's report that was actually complimentary of those workers' performance, according to the city's acting parks director.
"The Examiner's report says, 'They were going to mow the grass on Tuesday, and they weren't there on Tuesday.' My response is, 'Well, did you see if it was raining on Tuesday?'" said Jared Blumenfeld, acting director of the Department of Recreation and Parks. "We play a role in resolving every issue coming our way. When needles, mattresses, and bottles are dumped in the park, we clean them up. The gardeners are getting the work done; sometimes it's very hard, in a given day, to work out if a gardener would be in the place they were going to be according to the schedule."
According to a story in today's Examiner:
However, Blumenfeld said the key statistic of the Controller's report wasn't 54-percent shedule compliance, but an 86 percent overall performance rating the gardeners' received.
"Ultimately, you don't get (such a high score) unless you're doing the maintenance every day. The point with coming out with plans and schedules every month is to ensure that, every month, the grass is going to be mowed twice. What the new report says is, yes, in 86 percent of the time, the grass is owed twice."