Keep up the pressure on budgetary ‘add-backs’ 

As a member of the 2008-09 civil grand jury that blew the whistle on “add-backs,” I was glad to see Mayor Ed Lee and The San Francisco Examiner focus on these last-minute raids on The City’s budget. Instead of prioritizing funding through a transparent process of public meetings, etc., these add-backs are targeted to groups that would not be funded if they didn’t offer political services to specific supervisors.

Supervisors are fond of directing money through the Department of Public Health, where contracts under $1 million are exempt from competitive bidding with little to no accountability.

Nonprofits were funded to collect data on local business activity during the recent Eastern Neighborhoods rezoning process. It should come as no surprise that the zoning plan put into place in 2009 requires most housing to be built by nonprofits and collects huge fees from private development to be distributed to nonprofits.

Judy West
San Francisco


Voters should have a say

Good for Mayor Ed Lee and good for The Examiner. In times of financial peril, every hard-earned taxpayer dollar should be accounted for, and not under control of a select few.

Bad enough we have some supervisors who don’t recite the pledge, and others who believe that cat ­declawing, circumcision and kids meal toys are a priority. Let’s at least put any so-called “add-back” money up to citywide voter measures.

Theodore Carl Soderberg
San Francisco


Adjust Muni expectations

The Sunday cover story on Muni performance time nailed it. San Francisco buses can only go so fast on some routes, period.

The only thing Muni needs to do to achieve on-time performance is to correct the published schedule of arrival times to account for the real-life drive times of the routes. Then, even the nextmuni.com and 511 systems would give real-life estimates of arrival times. Problem solved.

Darge F. Arnan
San Francisco


Walking the walk

Regarding your Monday “Man vs. Muni” story, let me give you a tip from a native San Franciscan: Do as I do and walk whenever you can. That race route from Pacific and Stockton to Market and Fourth is one of the most colorful and invigorating walks in The City.

Do what the great reporter Herb Caen would do. Walk. You will learn about The City and its people. You will be healthier. And you will become a true San Franciscan, just like Herb Caen and me.

Michael McGreevy
San Francisco

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