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Mayor ALIOTO. That is correct, and continuing agreements with the Army. They contemplate that they will-the Presidio and our planning development will work in very, very close communication. Mr. JOHNSON. Very good.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mayor ALIOTO. But we think, for example, under our own voluntary actions that we could get Baker Beach and Crissy Field converted as part of our recreation area before the effect of this bill could be worked out.
Mr. JOHNSON. I think that could be worked out very well.
Mr. TAYLOR. Does the gentleman from Kansas have any questions? Mr. SKUBITZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, yes, I do.
Mayor Alioto, first I want to express my appreciation and I am sure the appreciation of the entire committee for the courtesies that the city has extended to us during our brief stay.
Now, let us clarify a bit. As I understand Congressman Mailliard's bill, new construction on the Presidio would be forbidden without consultation with and consent by the Secretary of the Interior. This means that if the Mailliard bill is enacted into law, new construction on the Presidio is barred unless the consent of the Secretary of the Interior is first obtained. I could suppose that would allay the fears of those who are thinking in terms of more construction going on in the Presidio area.
The question of land donation was raised. Mr. Mailliard's bill provides that the Federal Government may acquire only by donation. One may infer from that provision that the city is ready and willing to donate city areas that are included in the master plan.
Your testimony on this point confuses me, Mr. Mayor. You indicate that you are not willing to surrender anything but want to work on a cooperative basis with the city continuing to control the city lands. Is that a correct summation?
Mayor ALIOTO. No, I didn't mean to say that, if I did, and I am sorry I didn't make it clear. At the proper
Mr. SKUBITZ. You have raised and inserted contingencies in an appropriations bill even before an authorization is enacted.
Mayor ALIOTO. We don't want to be giving anything away until such time as we are clear it is going to be used and maintained as a park.
Now, the city in effect would not be donating the lands because the consideration would be that the Federal Government would maintain it as a park, though it really-we are getting a very, very important consideration in that respect and I am sure that at the proper time the city would be happy--at least the mayor's office would be happy, the present occupant would be happy to recommend the donation of the land in consideration of it being maintained by the Department of the Interior as a park.
Mr. CLAUSEN. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. SKUBITZ. Yes; I vield.
Mr. CLAUSEN. Just to clarify the point, it is my understanding that the Mailliard bill does provide for cooperative agreements between the agencies as well as the local political subdivisions.
Mayor ALIOTO. I would hope it does and I think it does; and, as a matter of fact, you are going to be making agreements with the
State, with the city, and with private parties. No reason why there cannot be agreements between two departments of the Government in the same way. And, let me say, it ought not to be lightly assumed that the Presidio in San Francisco or that the personnel of the Presidio in San Francisco are less sensitive to environmental claims than the Department of the Interior. You must not assume because it is military they don't have sensitivity to these claims because they do, very, very much so, and there are some of us, you know, that won't forget the Department of the Interior is the organization that gave those tidelands leases in the Santa Barbara Channel. So nobody ought to make the easy assumption that the military is less sensitive to te demands of beauty in this particular historical area than anybody else. I don't think so. They have a tremendous pride in this.
Mr. SKUBITZ. What bothers me, Mr. Mayor, is that normally the Park Service prefers to have complete control over the area when a recreation area or national park is established. Cooperative agreements with the involved cities or communities or with the State are not regarded as satisfactory. If the Federal Government should insist that the city and the State deed their interest over to the Park Service, would you be willing to enter into such an agreement?
Mayor ALIOTO. In consideration of these specific parcels we are talking about, in consideration of their being maintained in perpetuity for recreation, with the sufficient assurances against development-commercial development-it at least would certainly be willing to recommend it. But I find no great difficulty actually in making cooperative agreements anyway because you are going to be doing it with private parties as I understand it, and with the State.
Mr. SKUBITZ. I understand your position. If you had your druthers, Mr. Mayor, would you prefer that the Presidio and the beach area be under the control of the military rather than Interior? Mayor ALIOTO. Yes.
Mr. SKUBITZ. You would?
Mayor ALIOTO. I have no objection to those two areas going to Interior. What I am saying is, it is a pretty good rule of conservative philosophy that when things are working, don't disturb them. It is only when they aren't working that you ought to disturb them. And it is not a bad rule of liberal philosophy either, except those of us who are liberals tend to look more for changes before they are sensitive to the claims of esthetics. As I say, I wish you could see the 23,000 acres we have dedicated in perpetuity, the largest landowner, San Mateo County, this magnificent property. We have already done it and we think this concept can be worked out with various departments collaborating as the Army has collaborated
Mr. SKUBITZ. One other point, Mr. Mayor. You said earlier that Alcatraz is perhaps one of the best-known islands in the world today.
Mayor ALIOTO. By name identity.
Mr. SKUBITZ. Yes. And what do we associate with Alcatraz?
Mayor ALIOTO. Well, up until recently, of course, we associated the idea of a Federal prison.
Mr. SKUBITZ. And if we
Mayor ALIOTO. Now we have associated the idea of an Indian settlement.
Mr. SKUBITZ. I was going to observe that it would be a terrible disappointment for some little boy or girl from Kansas planning to visit Alcatraz to find an Indian village or a statue erected to the United Nations or housing developments instead of what he had read and been told about the island.
Mayor ALIOTO. You know that great statue with the hand up that we call the Statue of Liberty? As I recall historically, there was a jail at the bottom of that, too; but we have washed out the impression of a jail and it has the great impression of liberty instead, and I think Alcatraz could very well be the west coast symbol of entrance as the Statue of Liberty is on the east coast.
Mr. SKUBITZ. The base of the Statue of Liberty was a fort, not a prison.
Mayor ALIOTO. Maybe it was Ellis Island.
Mr. SKUBITZ. I don't think that was a prison either. My father and mother came through there. Immigrants were sometimes detained there pending transshipment or return.
Mayor ALIOTO. I think, as a matter of fact, it did have a history of a prison.
Mr. TAYLOR. The gentleman from South Dakota.
Mr. ABOUREZK. I can understand what the mayor is saying about an agreement with the Federal Government before they turn the land over. I don't have any problem with that. I do want to inquire, Mr. Mayor-you said that you are working on an agreement now with the Army with regard to what kind of development there will be on Presidio land and the phraseology you used was something I didn't completely understand. I wonder if you would go through again your explanation of the development.
Mayor ALIOTO. First of all, we signed a formal agreement. As you know, Federal lands are not subject to the planning committee of the city in which they happen to exist, not subject to city planning. I raised the question approximately a year or so ago and asked my city attorney to verify the fact that that was true. He thought it was. I think there still remains some question about it, but nevertheless he thought it was. So we sat down, conferred with the General of the Army, General Larson, and after negotiations completed a memorandum of understanding where the Army would do nothing without consultation with our planning department. In other words, no plans would be made unless they were made jointly.
I will be the first to acknowledge that that doesn't have the force of law but it is an agreement we think we can live with.
Now, as part of that agreement, they have now said that they are not going to build any additional housing in the Presidio. That is the letter I filed this morning. That is a continuing agreement. They have also said as a matter of policy, and that is going to be reduced to writing, they have also said as a matter of policy that they are going to maintain the same ratio of open space to developed land as presently exists, that if they do build any other kind of a little installation, they would remove another one that has become absolete, so that the ratio of open space, and it is considerable open
space as you know, and some of the most dramatic outlooks to the sea that we don't have any other place in San Francisco
Mr. ABOUREZK. Where will they build the new housing, over in Marin County in the open space over there?
Mayor ALIOTO. Well, there are other spaces in Marin County. There are areas in which military housing can be built. It doesn't have to be built in the Presidio.
Mr. ABOUREZK. Does the agreement address itself to where it will be built other than the Presidio?
Mayor ALIOTO. No. All the agreement says, and I filed the letter with you, is that they will not build it in the Presidio. Presumably they have their own plans where they think they can plan it.
Mr. ABOUREZK. In other words, we have to be watchful of the Army building housing over in the area that might be taken over in the Marin headlands.
I would like to get to another point.
You don't have to answer that.
You state how well the military can patrol the Presidio area and how they have kept it up as a park. I don't think there is any question that they have done a lot of work and I understand from Congressman Mailliard they planted every single tree in that area, and so you are in favor of allowing the Army to maintain that as a recreation area?
Mayor ALIOTO. Yes.
Mr. ABOUREZK. Do I understand that correctly?
Mayor ALIOTO. Yes, I would like them to maintain it just exactly as they are doing right now.
Mr. ABOUREZK. My concern, and I just-I would like you to comment on this-is that when I was in the military service a few years ago, it was my experience that everytime there was a job that needed to be done which might require one man, the military put ten men on it, and what my concern is now, if we are going to make a recreation area or improve upon the one we have in the Presidio, wouldn't it be cheaper, wouldn't it be less expensive to the Federal Government, to allow the Interior Department to maintain and patrol that rather than the military, because I frankly don't think it is the military's function to establish and maintain recreation areas? Mayor ALIOTO. Well, we don't think it is the military's function to establish recreation areas either but the blunt fact of the matter is that there are military establishments that have recreational aspects about them. We are talking about Gettysburg or West Point or Annapolis, or even the Air Force. There are certain things about these installations that are attractive to people and the public is invited in; the public can use them.
Now, the same thing has developed with the Presidio. They didn't obviously set it up as a recreational area. They set it up as a military base but there was enough land so that they do certain things for it just from the standpoint of serving the military needs there. And I would doubt myself, Mr. Congressman, I would doubt very seriously, that if you had to set up a whole new organization to handle just a part of the Presidio that you could do that less expensively than as part of an overall program where you obviously have
military personnel present. It would seem to me it would cost you more to set up a separate establishment in Interior to handle a part of the area.
Mr. ABOUREZK. We are going to have a separate establishment at any rate with the other lands being included in this area.
Mayor ALIOTO. Even that-It would seem to me that just deploying the men in the entire area as against using what you already have that have a certain history already-I would doubt very seriously, although we could make some kind of an extra matter with respect to that matter, I would doubt very seriously you could do it cheaper by setting up a new group.
Mr. ABOUREZK. I think that we would have to make further study. I am just stating my experience with the military. So far as patrolling the area and cutting down the violent crime that might be committed in the area, you don't disagree with the fact that the Park Service could probably patrol it as well or if they deem it necessary for the Army to continue to patrol it; they could have done that as well, couldn't they?
Mayor ALIOTO. I would doubt that very seriously, Mr. Congressman. I think in a realistic appraisal that the Department of Defense is likely to get more money than the Department of the Interior in times when money is tight. We are being realistic about it now. We are going to have a better guarantee of more personnel in the Presidio while it is in the hands of the Defense Department than if it is in the Department of the Interior. Those of us who have worked in several areas on so-called matching funds with the Federal Government and the State government, too, know that there is a certain tendency for both the State and Federal Government to get the local communities into the act and thereafter get out themselves gradually where the local communities have to maintain or simply take over a lot more of the activity than at the beginning. I don't think that is going to happen with the Defense Department. There is no guarantee that it won't happen with the Department of the Interior. There is no guarantee, for example, that some day we might wake up and the Department of the Interior might tell us to send 100 policemen into the Presidio which up to this point we haven't done.
Mr. ABOUREZK. Thank you.
Mr. TAYLOR. The gentleman from California.
Mr. CLAUSEN. Mr. Mayor, there are a couple of things I want to exchange.
Mr. TAYLOR. If the gentleman will yield, let me just state that our Congressman, Mr. Mailliard, I know would like to ask questions and he has a great many in mind but under the rules of the committee since he is not a member of the committee he is not permitted to.
Mr. CLAUSEN. I might add that I have a good writer and I can hear some of his questions.
Mr. TAYLOR. That will take care of the rules of the committee. [Laughter.]
Mr. CLAUSEN. I not only share his ear but you see I share Marin County with him.
Right on that subject, I rather gather from your testimony, Mr. Mayor, that your point of view and the point of view of Congressman Mailliard are very, very close?