San Francisco politics' musical chairs encourage cronyism

Because of the appointive powers granted to the mayor by the City Charter, a corrupt game of musical chairs is played every time a local politician moves up in office (“Ting win puts mayor in tight spot,” Friday).

With Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting now going to Sacramento to serve in the Assembly, the rumor mill has Mayor Ed Lee picking Supervisor Carmen Chu to take Ting’s place. This in turn opens up a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors, and the person Lee appoints as Chu’s replacement there would serve out the remainder of her term and possibly for as long as 10 years, depending on the timing of the appointment.

These kinds of manipulative personnel movements give the executive branch far too much power over the legislative. The end result is cronyism, which has been rampant in city government since time immemorial. A charter amendment is needed to redress the balance and strengthen our democracy.

Barry S. Eisenberg
San Francisco
 

 

Improve Muni service first

Supervisor Scott Wiener is absolutely correct: a free Muni pass  for disadvantaged youths does not make sense if there are not enough operational vehicles or drivers (“Improving service should be No. 1 Muni goal,” Thursday).

The entire Muni system is in desperate need of an overhaul. San Francisco residents and visitors alike deserve a reliable and efficient Muni system. We should support Wiener’s resolution for all available funds to be used for Muni maintenance and upkeep.

Tom Hubbard
San Francisco

 

Voters sent GOP message

Everyone seems to agree that the voters in this past election sent the parties mixed messages. But I hope the Republicans see the clear implications of at least one fact: The electorate not only gave the Democrats a few more seats in both houses of Congress, but also, more significantly, re-elected a Democratic president whose performance satisfied almost no one.

Clearly a majority of voters blame Republican obstructionism and not President Barack Obama’s performance for the stagnation of the past four years. And well they should. It is shameful that the GOP would make the defeat of a fairly elected president its primary goal for four years.

If “compromise” is a dirty word so is “democracy,” because compromise is essential to democracy. In a free country — and whatever some extremists say, this is a free country — no one party gets its own way.

Richard Innerst
San Mateo

Scandal cast a shadow

The real tragedy in the Gen. David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell scandal is that both are highly accomplished and patriotic visionaries who have contributed a lot to our country. But their extramarital affair will unfortunately  
forever cast their names in ignominy rather than admiration.

Kenneth L. Zimmerman
Huntington Beach

 

Inexperience at the top

I am ashamed of our government and I admit it. What am I to say in another country when their citizens ask me questions about America democracy? This country is not a democracy — it is a republic according to our Constitution.

What if they ask why our commander and chief has no military experience, nor business experience, nor science experience? Why does he take so many vacations and always seem to be on the basketball court or on the golf links?

I would have to say that our Electoral College did not do its job, for it was formed to keep people who were not qualified from becoming president.

Perhaps it is about time that we return to the days of yesteryear, to a Constitution and supreme law of the land put together by educated and hard-working private citizens with military and war experience.

Frank Norton
San Francisco

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