The San Francisco Examiner reported on Thursday the unanimous approval by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to purchase 140 acres of Pillar Point Bluffs just north of Half Moon Bay for $3 million. Then on Sunday, The Examiner reported that the county supervisors want to tear down the main county buildings — which they think are ugly and energy inefficient — at an estimated cost of $485 million.
All this when the popular Flood Park is possibly going to be closed due to a lack of maintenance funds and the county is running an $82 million budget deficit. Read More
I thought I had heard every possible screwball idea from the Board of Supervisors. But the proposed charter amendment orchestrated by Supervisor Scott Wiener for the November ballot takes the academy award for screwball ideas.
He actually wants to give the Board of Supervisors the power to amend or repeal ballot measures approved by the voters. You heard right, If the Board of Supervisors do not agree with the voters on amendments passed at the polls, they simply amend or repeal the amendment. Read More
Muni is facing a deficit of tens of millions of dollars this year. Its services have already been reduced and are increasingly unreliable. The voters said their piece last November with Proposition G and the unions are refusing to listen. So yes, people are upset with the entire situation and the only faces we know to represent the organization are the drivers. Read More
It was a little embarrassing seeing our city officials falling all over themselves to tout a proposal that does not adequately address out-of-control employee benefit costs that threaten our most basic public services.Financier Warren Hellman even went as far as to say he was “very pleased” with the outcome. However, Hellman stated earlier this year that the pension reform working group must come up with $300 million to $400 million in annual savings. This sentiment was echoed at the time by Mayor Ed Lee, who also said The City could be bankrupt in five to 10 years. Read More
So Petco wants to open a store in the Richmond. I am a locksmith who, though not pro-Petco, is pro-commerce in the neighborhood. Empty storefronts along the Geary Boulevard corridor are bad for business. Read More
It was a shame the California Legislative Budget and Finance Committee refused to allow the nationwide standard for a competitive bidding specification law to be implemented in California.
The Legislative Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review put the bill forward, in order to stop massive scams of school and public construction dollars.
Nationwide, minimum good competitive bidding practice for best use of taxpayer money is to write in three different manufacturer’s products and the term “or equal” into contract specifications. Read More
I was happy to see the recent poll results showing that the majority of Redwood City residents oppose the Cargill development. This shouldn’t come as any surprise to people who live in town; most of us have been against this project for years.
It’s time to make clear to Cargill that we’re not going to change their zoning and allow them to build their new city of 30,000 on the salt ponds. Then we can have Cargill’s property assessed (fairly this time) so they can then sell it for restoration to wetlands. Read More
It’s easier for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to devise new ways to tax city residents instead of tackling its balance sheet and revenue problems.
Half the new parking smart meters installed by SFMTA over the past three years are largely vacant during business hours because street parking is now just too expensive. Another quarter is occupied by handicapped placards getting free parking. Placard abuse is even higher around commuter-heavy city and state administration buildings. Read More
As explored in your Thursday front-page story, replacing the northern end of I-280 with a surface boulevard could work. However, before rushing headlong into another single-purpose transportation “improvement,” San Francisco should engage in some serious analysis.
Removing highways is fine — provided the alternatives are in place. But are they? Could local streets could handle the traffic? Extending Caltrain would help; high-speed rail would not. Read More
It is height of absurdity that San Francisco, a city with a $7 billion budget (bigger then that of 20 states) can’t maintain its roads within its existing general fund and is instead asking the voters to pass a bond measure to pay for it.
It is fiscally reckless to pay for ongoing street repair through bond debt. Bonds are meant for one-time capital projects, not ongoing maintenance needs. This would saddle San Francisco residents with 10-plus years of interest payments so that the $200 million a year The City wastes on the homeless-industrial complex can be preserved. Read More
It seems to me that the $477,732 wheelchair ramp being contemplated for the Board of Supervisors chamber is ridiculous. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act clearly meant its access provisions for the general public and not for specialized uses such as the Legislative Chamber. Just how many people are expected to be climbing that incline?
There are so many other options costing so much less. A miniature levator would probably be cheaper to install and more convenient to use. A sturdy but moveable ramp should not be out of the question. Read More
The Mayor’s Office on Disability has received calls and emails because of a misleading paragraph about me in your Thursday cover story “Disability-placard use spurs worries of abuse.” For the record, I think only people whose disability makes it difficult or impossible to use public transit should have and use a placard. Read More
Your Friday cover story about double-dipping government employees stated that some of them have pensions of $4,000, $6,000, $8,000 and even $11,000 per month. While others are upset by people collecting pension payments while still working for the government, I’m scandalized by the amount of the monthly pension payments. Read More
I can’t believe the California Public Utilities Commission is allowing these PG&E executives to flee the sinking ship and keep their ill-earned bonuses and incentive packages. The CEO is leaving with his $35 million retirement bonus while the San Bruno victims continue to wait for a monthly handout. PG&E now wants to employ set-aside accounting so it can bill ratepayers for its mismanagement of the San Bruno gas explosion. Read More
I appreciated the balanced and informative spread your Thursday newspaper did on The City’s pension problem. As Warren Hellman stated, the solutions are not “black and white.” Yet according to the public employee union representatives included in the piece, it is. Read More