Amid angry concern that City employees continue to endanger the safety of neighborhood residents, D9 Supervisor David Campos held a hearing yesterday in City Hall to review Recreation and Parks Department procedures in the wake of the Sept. 5 tragedy in Holly Park that resulted in the death of Christy Svanemyer.
Meanwhile, a decision on whether to file criminal charges against Thomas Burnoski, the Rec and Park employee who was driving the truck that killed Svanemyer, is expected next week.
ABC-7 details the status of policy under Rec and Park director Phil Ginsberg:
“We want people driving no faster than people can walk. We want lights on, hazarda and headlights on, and we’re going to be outfitting our vehicles with oral signals,” said Recreation and Park Director Phil Ginsburg. He says another goal is to use smaller vehicles that would do less damage and he says the entire department has been retrained on safety regulations.
According to Ginsburg, the gardener expected to be charged in the case, Thomas Burnoski, had 25 training sessions since 2006, yet violated policy by driving off a service road and onto the grass without having another employee guide him.
City Supervisor David Campos believes the public’s trust has been shaken and called for answers at a hearing Thursday. “Even if we have the right policies in place, if we change the rules so that the right rules are in place, how do we make sure that they’re actually followed?” he asked.
KTVU provides additional coverage:
“There is no single public policy management stroke that can perfectly inoculate an individual’s judgment in a single moment,” said head of San Francisco s Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg.
But Ginsburg did propose some changes. Among the changes were to increase signs on park service roads, impose a 5 mph speed limit for city trucks inside the park and install warning alarms for trucks used on service roads.
One department policy that wasn’t followed in this case was the requirement that trucks travelling off the roads and onto recreation areas such as where Svanemyr was have spotters on vehicles working with drivers.
“Since we have policies in place that clearly have not been followed, how can we ensure that — whatever changes we make — that the changes are followed?” asked Campos.
As for Thomas Burnoski, sources said a decision on criminal charges should come next week.