Campos Conducts Safety Hearing After Holly Park Tragedy


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.


9 thoughts on “Campos Conducts Safety Hearing After Holly Park Tragedy

  1. All the new rules in the world won’t mean a thing if there’s no enforcement. People have been complaining about the conduct of these guys for years and years – when is someone going to actually oversee them and make them follow any kind of safety protocol?

  2. Who hires and manages these Park & Rec employees?
    Thomas B, seemed to have serious mental health issues…
    Feel bad for him and his family.
    Where is the toxicology report?

    • You should leave your house once in a while. i saw him three times yesterday at community events. He’s the hardest working and most responsive member of the Board of Supervisors. Do you expect him to ask you out for coffee? Look up the word insular.

  3. Damn right – I’m a strong and volunteer backer. You’re such an ass. What have you ever done to improve the neighborhood. You’re right – I support him for Assembly. Lots of us started working with him back when he sat on the SF Police Commission and he helped us stop violent crime on the streets above Alemany. I also backed him for Supervisor. I’ve lived here and worked to improve the community since 1976. Have you ever worked on a local political campaign? Even attended let alone organizer a community meeting. You big cynical nothing. Oh by the way, who are you voting for for the Assembly seat? What did you think ot our neighbor Tom Ammiano, who by the way backs Campos. Can you name an issue that Tom worked on in the Assembly? Do you know what the Assembly is and does?

    • No need to name call just because someone voices their opinion, not everyone has to agree with you. Definately won’t get any votes that way.

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