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Curbed Reports: Last Night's Presidio Trust Shitshow

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Curbed SF blogger Andy Wang has the eyewitness report on last night's meeting of the Presidio Trust:

Blood and gore: that's what San Franciscan's wanted at last night's meeting of the Presidio Trust, and that's pretty much what they got. Hundreds descended on Herbst International Exhibit Hall to discuss the future of Don Fisher's contemporary art museum. On one side, pro-CAMPers, and on the other, Save the Presidio. The place was sweltering, babies were crying, everyone had skipped dinner. The local news was present and accounted for, and it was so full that people outside were barred from entering. Do we even need to say it? Shitshow, in its truest metaphorical form.

Warriors for both sides were armed to the teeth with San Francisco cred, including generations lived in the city and neighborhood of residence (preferably Presidio or Presidio-adjacent). Weapons of choice: impassioned, rhetorical flourishes and frequent references to "the children." Bonus: some sort of military distinction. "I am a wounded veteran from the Vietnam War," or even "I am a military historian." Cue applause.

As the night wore on, however, it was unclear whether any one side was "winning." Save the Presidio speakers argued the Trust's own legislation wouldn't allow CAMP, while supporters begged the Trust not to turn away what could be a one-time "gift." Both contingencies drew applause, but, to their credit, anti-CAMP speakers got the most raucous, Parliament-style responses, while pro-CAMPers delivered only mild-mannered enthusiasm at best. To their credit, they deposited a box of 300 pro-museum letters on the Trust's desk — "Miracle on 34th Street letters to Santa Claus"-style.

And then came the Gavin. Appearing an hour and a half into the filibustering, the mayor called for respect in the "tone and tenor" of the discussion, welcomed more of said discussion, then went on to say his piece in support of CAMP, concluding it would be "errant to just dismiss it." So not having it, a man from the peanut gallery added: "Your two minutes are up!"

Fair enough — exit one rather bleary-eyed Mayor Gavin, amid a rising crescendo of boo's. Disapprovers in this crowd: numerous, and vocal. Here's just one pithy example: "I wish the Army would get out of Iraq and come back to the Presidio — at least they have a sense of integrity." Ahem... tone and tenor?