Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to shorten state employee workweeks should start with the Office of the lieutenant governor. Apparently, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom dislikes “boring” Sacramento so much, he only shows up to work there one day a week.
Newsom dismisses his $160,000 government job as do-nothing, insignificant and irrelevant. Yet, voters felt he was a perfect fit.
Looking at Newsom’s home page, the last entry was May 9, remarking on President Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage. Prior to that, Newsom had done or said nothing since Feb. 28. He has abandoned the job.
For a guy who does and says so little, Newsom’s new job on Current TV is a conflict of interest with his elected office. California state employees shouldn’t moonlight on second jobs, particularly ones that compete with their day jobs. If Newsom doesn’t have enough to do as lieutenant governor, or feels the office is beneath him, he should resign his elected office.
Paul Page, San Francisco
Paying for easier parking
I noticed the uproar among some readers caused by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s recent decision to charge for parking on Sundays as of Jan. 1.
I was thus surprised to see the lack of commotion in another city that decided to update its parking policies and charge for parking on Sundays — San Luis Obispo. San Luis Obispo will begin charging for parking on Sundays starting this Sunday. The decision was made by a unanimous City Council vote in July.
Parking in garages will be 75 cents per hour, and street parking will cost up to $1.50 an hour.
I think the parking debate — to charge or not to — is off-base. The real parking issue should be whether parking is managed effectively, i.e., can the motorist find a parking space, pay conveniently and have the ability to extend the length of time so as not to get a ticket?
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto
Rail costs keep ballooning
On May 11, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood improperly used his union sponsors’ tactic of threatening California about high-speed rail. The California High-Speed Rail Authority illegally submitted its business plan to California’s Legislature two months late under Proposition 1A, but LaHood nevertheless instructed legislators to stop their legally required review and immediately authorize $4 billion in new rail bonds and debt for California taxpayers.
But if the budget is so bad, how can legislators afford to issue $4 billion in new rail debt? And large California projects historically cost seven times more than “projected” costs (including the Bay Bridge), so the “current” $68 billion construction estimate could actually cost $490 billion. With $2 in interest to repay every $1 in bonds borrowed, it really could end up costing $1 trillion from California’s general fund.
Mike Brown, Burlingame
Occupy the Warriors arena
It seems that San Francisco has sent the worst of the anarchist wing of the Occupy movement over to Oakland. In return, Oakland has sent us one of the worst basketball teams in the NBA to play in what is sure to be a very expensive sports arena.
That’s roughly an equal deal, though to even things out, we may have to include an arsonist to be named later.
John J. Dillon, San Bruno