The Examiner respectfully suggests these helpful New Year’s resolutions for Bay Area political leaders. Something tells us most of our good advice will go unheeded, but life would be so much better locally if the politicians just listened to us.
To start, San Francisco City Hall denizens ought to resolve to clean up their act. The Board of Supervisors should stop passing useless resolutions telling the world how to solve its problems. Their real job is to fix The City’s potholed streets, permanent homeless convention, surging murder rate and inadequacy of Muni transit. And Mayor Gavin Newsom should resolve to avoid personal scandals and stop manipulating unpleasant budget news, such as next year’s estimated $229 million deficit.
City officials should firmly resolve to talk sense to the clueless owners of the San Francisco 49ers about keeping the team in San Francisco, now that Santa Clara expresses more qualms about taking on a huge debt load for a new stadium.
City Hall should continue leading the way with better green measures, but let us be realistic about costs. And we need true regional cooperation to improve emergency coordinations so that no more big oil spills pollute the Bay.
It might be a bit late for suspended Supervisor Ed Jew and former big-shot fugitive Norman Hsu to resolve to be good. But at least they could resolve not to tell more whoppers; such as Jew claiming he resided in an obviously empty house in his Sunset district, and Hsu explaining he thought San Mateo County law enforcement wasn’t still pursuing him for fleeing his 1992 sentencing because he was fully visible on the East Coast as a major Democratic fundraiser.
We offer only a single resolution for our state Capitol representatives, but it is a big one. Please resolve to stop your partisan legislative gridlock and budget trickery, which have made meaningful change virtually impossible for decades. It might help if you remembered politics is supposed to be the art of the possible, which requires open-minded negotiation instead of posturing to your party’s base.
And to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, we request that you authorize the use of sensible optical scan voting machines for key 2008 elections so as to avoid a repeat of the embarrassingly drawn-out November 2007 tally.
As for Bay Area citizens, you need some resolutions, too. San Francisco voters, please stop approving those feel-good, set-aside measures. Every budget dollar you assign to one worthy municipal purpose shortchanges all other worthy purposes.
Peninsula voters, halt your seemingly automatic last-ditch opposition to property development. San Mateo County population is growing, and its housing will need to be built somewhere. Giving developers a blank check is not the answer, but neither is reflexively fighting every inch of new construction.
And finally, all of us in the Bay Area should join in resolving to support a better regional business climate, so job creation can continue being strong despite the mortgage market meltdown.