Borrowing from President Harry Truman, the buck stops for all things Muni with chief Nathaniel Ford and SFMTA board Chair Tom Nolan. For the last two years, Ford has been focused on two things: finding employment elsewhere and getting approval for the costly and essentially useless Central Subway to Chinatown (for the obvious purpose of bolstering his rather thin résumé). And in the face of this, Nolan was recently quoted as saying Ford is worth every penny of his $308,000 annual salary.
Is there any wonder why Muni is in serious financial trouble and the California PUC recently declared it to be the most poorly maintained transit system in the state?
Paul Foley, San Rafael
Muni’s funding priorities
Muni chief Nathaniel Ford shouldn’t be the scapegoat for politicians’ fiscal recklessness. Political shenanigans for votes, influence and campaign contributions have drained $630 million of state and local funds from the Muni system for the 1.7-mile Central Subway that will serve few riders.
Meanwhile, 700,000 daily Muni riders and all San Franciscans suffer unnecessary budget deficits, service cuts, higher parking meter rates, hellish parking and traffic citations, draconian revenue generation, depleted reserves, wage and benefit decreases, deferred maintenance, crumbling infrastructure, curbed Caltrain contributions, service reductions, higher liability and public safety threats.
Howard Wong, San Francisco
Investigate baby’s death
It was heartbreaking to read Friday’s story about the baby who died at San Francisco Zoo. I can’t imagine how anguishing it was for the mother waiting for the paramedics to arrive, and the thought that their arrival was somehow delayed is horrifying.
Just as disturbing to me are the apparent contradictions in the timeline. If someone messed up, they should fess up, not cover up. This needs to be investigated, and appropriate actions taken. The City and the baby’s family deserve no less.
Tim Donnelly, San Francisco
Park preservation is vital
I know there are programs to be cut, but leave the state parks.
Our state parks create value in people’s lives and provide homes for thousands of animals.
Maintenance is already at just marginal levels. Additional cuts will worsen that level to a point where the parks might never recover.
Pat Mimeau, San Francisco