P.G.’s Memorial Benches Not Free

Volunteers get the word while maintaining the Polly Klass bench.


As they were working, she said, city crewmen approached and told them that, because the maintenance fee on the bench hadn’t been paid, it and others were scheduled to be taken down.

Joann Alaniz of Public Works said the maintenance fee had been billed by letter in 2009 and the city had received no reply.
The bench was scheduled for removal during the coming year, she said, but if someone wished to pay the $175 fee, due every five years, it would be spared. The city policy is to remove benches whose sponsors are no longer available to pay the fee, Alaniz said.

When contacted by The Herald, Polly’s father, Marc Klaas of San Francisco, said he’d pay the fee.

After his daughter’s death, he established the KlaasKids Foundation child advocacy group and has counseled parents of kidnapped children.

“That bench is my favorite place on earth,” Klaas said. “Whenever we’re fortunate enough to get down to this most beautiful piece of America, we always go by the bench, stay as long as we can, and leave flowers. I feel it’s a spiritual location. I’ll be more than happy to pay any fees to keep it where it is, as it is. It’s very important to me and my family.”

P.G.’s Memorial Benches Not Free