Muni Opposes Sandoval Amendment;
Muni, San Francisco's transit riders' association, condemned a charter
amendment proposed by Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval. The
organization urges the Board of Supervisors to reject it in tomorrow’s
Rules Committee hearing.
Measure Would Gut Muni Reform
measure reverses much of 1999’s Proposition E, which took much of
the power over Muni away from the Board of Supervisors and vested it
with a Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors. The
measure also caps the MTA executive director’s salary at $250,000.
Sandoval Amendment is nothing but a power grab at the expense of
Muni riders,” said Rescue Muni chair Andrew Sullivan. “There’s a
good reason the voters took Muni away from the Board of Supervisors.
Years of politically motivated budgets left service in a
shambles. Returning control to the supervisors is a formula for
Muni being micromanaged by politicians. When the supervisors
controlled the Muni budget, it meant budget cuts with no service cuts,
leading to the situation we had in the 1990’s of random, unplanned
service cuts, which is the worst outcome of all.”
the executive director’s salary in the city charter is
absurd,” added Rescue Muni vice chair Daniel Murphy. “We want
Muni to be able to attract the best and brightest to that
position. We’re competing with scores or urban transit systems
for top managers, and if we can’t offer a competitive salary, we’re
going to be stuck with less than ideal candidates, or with local
bottom line is that Proposition E is working,” said
Sullivan. “Service is vastly more reliable today than it was when
the supervisors controlled the Muni budget. Our independent
riders’ survey shows it, and so do Muni’s own numbers. By our
measurement, for example, Muni has cut delays in half since 1998.
It’s amazing that, in the face of the massive improvements we’ve seen,
some politician would say, after just four years, ‘no, let’s go back to
the old system.’ That’s just crazy. Supervisor Sandoval is
trying to fix something that isn’t broken. Now is the wrong time
to turn back the clock.”
have our disagreements with Muni management, and with the MTA
Board, but we’re not feeling nostalgic for the days of the Metro
Meltdown,” said Murphy. “And we have no idea why Supervisor
Sandoval would want to gut Proposition E after the dramatic
improvements of the last several years.”
Muni is a transit riders’ organization for customers of
Muni. It was founded in 1996 by Muni riders seeking to improve
the system’s reliability, service, and safety. The organization
conducts an annual riders’ survey, serves as a citizens’ watchdog group
for Muni, and promotes expansion of transit service in San
Francisco. Rescue Muni co-sponsored November 1999’s Proposition E
for Muni reform after circulating its own charter amendment earlier
that year and participating in City Hall negotiations. Rescue
Muni is an independent, nonpartisan group run by volunteers and
supported solely by its members’ dues.
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