The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s current posters seen in BART and Muni stations have got me thinking. The slogan is: “Treat Yourself. Hetch Hetchy Tap Water. It’s delicious.”
Water is indeed one of our most precious commodities, one that is increasingly threatened by climate change and population growth.
The Natural Resources Defense Council recently published a report, “Thirsty for Answers: Preparing for the Water-related Impacts of Climate Change in American Cities” in which they focused on water-related vulnerabilities in 12 U.S. cities, including San Francisco. High sea-level events here could cause flooding, erosion, damage to coastal structures, as well as salinity intrusion with consequences for the freshwater supply.
The SFPUC should be actively protecting our water supply via recycled water and groundwater projects. We are fortunate to have such high-quality water in our taps. Let’s make sure it stays that way.
Shauna Hannibal, San Francisco
Taxi problem not solved
San Francisco needs more full-service taxi medallions, but not the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency way. The mish-mash, multi-dish menu approach of the SFMTA will create more problems than solutions.
How will the SFMTA enforce peak-time-only medallions when it can’t even get a handle on rogue cab operators? When the SFMTA sells medallions to generate revenues that decrease its significant budget deficit, it is selling a public asset. The sale price collected on behalf of the owners (the public) must reflect the true value of this asset.
The SFMTA cannot arbitrarily set a fixed price below market and ignore true valuation. Selling below market price places an unnecessary tax on users and taxpayers to subsidize the difference. This is probably challengeable under state Proposition 218 (Right to Vote on Taxes Act) as double dipping.
Brian Browne, San Francisco
Mayoral politics a joke
I had to laugh when I saw the reaction of certain mayoral candidates — who had backed a closed-door deal to install San Francisco’s city administrator as caretaker mayor without public input — when that same caretaker developed a convenient change of heart.
We have already seen Mayor Ed Lee’s policies in action: the continued fleecing of citizens for user fees and an expansion of the commercialization and privatization of our public commons.
Because the establishment candidates largely support these agendas, voters will see little reason not to vote for Lee.
However, as termed-out supervisor Chris Daly said, we should just elect Rose Pak and cut out the middleman.
Harry S. Pariser, San Francisco