A better alternative to ranked-choice voting 

I’m responding to Ken Garcia’s column, “SF must join cities discarding ranked-choice voting” in which he rips ranked-choice and advocates for its repeal. Ranked-choice isn’t the best system and should never have been adopted in the first place. But I am sad that Garcia only advocated for its repeal. Rather than repeal, we should replace ranked-choice with better and easier systems of voting.

I would have liked to see Garcia do some research and propose that San Francisco adopt a system of approval voting. It is so simple that I can explain it in two sentences: Vote for as many candidates as you wish. The candidate with the most votes wins.

Research has shown that this system increases voter satisfaction with their choice by more than double what simple plurality voting can offer. San Francisco adopted ranked-choice because the old system wasn’t working. Let’s replace it with one that actually works.

Dominic Paris, San Francisco



Outsource Muni service

The runaway overtime costs at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency as reported in Friday’s “SFMTA gobbling overtime budget” will persist as long as the agency continues doing business as usual. It’s time to try a new approach. Both New Orleans and Austin, Texas, have outsourced their public transportation systems to private-sector companies and gained large savings. San Francisco should investigate outsourcing Muni and other municipal functions to save money for taxpayers.

Howard Epstein, San Francisco

Central Subway a disaster

A Friday letter-writer found in the insanely crowded 30-Stockton line all the justification he needed for supporting the Central Subway project. For him and others with the same concern, the $1 billion price tag for improving service on that section of the route between downtown and Chinatown is a mere detail.

Central Subway boosters are relying on the support of people who think like children with nothing to lose in the game. Taxpayers of every persuasion should vote with their wallets on this one. The tunnel is a stalking horse for a veritable lineup of special interests and a crazy substitute for rational urban planning. The transit system should not be bent out of shape to accommodate too-big-to-fail strategic moves that limit competition. Better to let the neighborhoods have richer shopping options closer to home.

Randy Stortroen, San Francisco

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