The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board is in a position to save The City $384,000 by terminating SFMTA chief Nathaniel Ford “for cause” instead of awarding him the obscene “voluntary separation” provisions of his contract.
As reported on the KGO-TV website Feb. 11 and also in The San Francisco Examiner, The City is currently involved in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit related to misconduct accusations against Ford in connection with the bid process for a contract to operate a number of city garages.
The lawsuit is based on the claim that Ford improperly prevented the contract from being awarded to the successful bidder, a highly regarded African-American businessman, in order to steer it to the unsuccessful bidder, who happened to be involved with his personal attorney.
Ford might have exposed The City to significant damages in the lawsuit. It is outrageous to think that the SFMTA is about to award him $384,000 for his services to San Francisco public transit.
California’s high-speed rail project currently has a $67 billion to $100 billion cost estimate, making it the most expensive project in U.S. history. And if normal construction-cost overruns occur — the Bay Bridge project was originally estimated to cost $1.1 billion, but has cost $6.2 billion so far — this project would cost more than $300 billion if ever completed.
Gov. Jerry Brown remains silent about this bankrupting project, but his current budget requests $185 million for the California High-Speed Rail Authority while simultaneously laying off teachers and raising classroom sizes for K-12, closing state parks, releasing felons into local communities, closing senior centers, and raising UC and CSU tuition.
Brown wants to silently appease the unions that got him elected and support high-speed rail — but at California’s expense.
Getting rid of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency chief Nathaniel Ford will not improve the condition or performance of Muni without the ouster of SFMTA board Chairman Tom Nolan.
It really doesn’t matter who assumes Ford’s position as long as he or she will still be supervised and directed by Nolan. Most of Muni’s problems can be explained by its incompetent buck-stops — Ford and Nolan. Getting rid of Ford only solves half the problem.