Oh Here We Go: Board Vs. Mayor Fight, Round 3, MUNI Edition…And The Fallout for Us..

“A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”
-K, Men in Black

Well, here we go: Everybody’s Favorite Supervisor, Jake McGoldrick is proposing some sort of ballot measure to give the Board of Supervisors, now and forevermore, more direct appointments to the MTA Board. And once again, policy decisions are being decided by the popularity of Today’s Personalities In City Hall, without a lot of thought about long term effects. Throw in a dose of WTF? and you are left with your head spinning.
I haven’t read the chapters and verses of St. Mc Goldrick’s proposal yet, so instead of getting into the muck on that issue today, instead I’m going to throw out a few ideas and let the discussion go from there:

-Right now, you’re being asked to vote on a lot in this city, from Mayor, to Supervisor, to District Attorney, to City Attorney, to Judges, to Public Defender (!), to a myriad of ballot measures on any and every issue you can possibly come up with. Apparently the voters can be trusted to make informed, wise choices on these Important Things.
So…..why has it been determined that you are too dumb to decide who would be the best folks to run MUNI? Does it not seem a bit strange that you’ve been deemed smart enough to vote on issues of life and death, but not on anyone directly controlling the SFMTA/MUNI? Aside from of course, picking a mayor, and we sure had a plethora of qualified choices last year, didn’t we?
Or, flip it around – if taking out the people from directly deciding who runs the MTA is such a good idea, why not extend it to all branches of government?
-Should we really be making decisions on the structure of city government now and forevermore based solely on who we like in office today? Many people love Gavin Newsom and dislike Our Board (many of whom leave office this year). Many people love them those Board members and dislike Our Mayor (who will be out of office in 3 years). If this idea goes to the ballot, people will base their decision on who they like bestest now.
Problem: What happens in the future when we get a different Mayor or a different board? Is this really the best way to make decisions, basing them mostly on who we’d have a beer (or organic chai latte) with? (This is how we got GW as our president, and district elections redux). Who knows what crazy election systems to game the system we’ll have in the future to replace the crazy ones we have now?
-Finally, why is it in San Francisco we treat every problem as completely insurmountable, a Herculean or Sisyphan task that our brightest, most well paid minds at City Hall just can’t seem to figure out for the good of the citizens (even after all the pay raises and perks)?
Plenty of other cities are full of people who seem to figure out ways to get things done. Surely, the city full of such smart people (who are sure to tell the rest of the world just how wonderful Our Fair City is), can surely do better than we’ve done now, without having ridiculous political food fights every fall.

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