Articles illustrate why city suffers budget woes 

Four stories in the Jan. 14 Examiner give great insight into why San Francisco is in such serious financial straits.

One article reports that Muni is scrambling to find $140 million for its $1.6 billion Central Subway — a project which makes no sense from a transportation or financial standpoint. The genesis of the project was a political payoff from Willie Brown to Rose Pak, who is referred to in another story as the “political powerhouse” responsible for Ed Lee becoming mayor.

A third story reports Muni trains going off the tracks due to a lack of maintenance and the fourth story explains that Muni’s on-time performance has taken another dive — to 72 percent, well short of the mandated 85 percent.
In pushing for Central Subway, Muni has consistently maintained that it will save millions of dollars of operations and maintenance expense. However, in its latest report to the Federal Transit Administration, Muni admitted for the first time that the subway will in fact add $7 million to the annual cost of running the system.

So this one edition of The Examiner shows The City scrambling for money to build a useless and costly subway, to be added to a system that is already poorly maintained and underperforming, in order to please a political powerhouse.

Paul Foley, San Rafael

Same old story

Melissa Griffin reported in her Tuesday column about the ridiculous bonus being given to the retired San Francisco public employees.

We see too many of these type of stories that have as their center that “a prior group of government leaders approved this measure and we are now stuck with it.”

That statement is usually followed by the comments of a current official, similar to those made by Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who stated that “I think that this is crazy.”

We, citizens, read these reports, scratch our heads, yell an obscenity to ourselves, and then move on. The result? Nothing happens!

The same bozos keep running for office, get elected, and follow their predecessors in doing the dance of absurdity.

Michael McGreevy, San Francisco

Save iconic businesses

The America’s Cup Races coming to San Francisco will require sacrifices from some and inconvenience to many.
I think it will be well worth it, but others may not agree.
Most of the businesses that will be required to relocate do not benefit from their waterfront locations to any large degree.

There are a few, however, which derive a distinctive character directly from their bayside perch.

The Pier 23 Café and Red’s Java House (whose beloved namesake recently passed away) are two examples of historic businesses that cannot just move elsewhere. These iconic places are more popular than ever, and would be sorely missed if they were forced out. They are a connection to the past and should be part of the future.

Tim Donnelly, San Francisco

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