Letters from our readers: Police must help make Muni worth riding 

It’s unbelievable what Muni drivers must endure every day at the office. Having spent considerable time riding Muni lately, I have observed some very odd rider behaviors. It would be considered a hostile work environment in every other profession except maybe prison guards. Even when the driver is trying to be helpful, they get an earful, as if the crime lab scandal was their fault too.

One thing I observe is that when police officers get onboard, all the rider commotion stops. The bus gets noticeably quieter and the new riders, who sense a difference, quickly find a spot to sit or stand. New riders also seem to rely more on fellow passengers for information rather than the driver.

If Muni morale is raised, attitude, absenteeism and bus schedules will improve. Isn’t that what The City needs? Crime stats indicate that a large percentage of city assaults are aboard Muni and at transit stops. The Police Department must take a stake in improving this vital city service.

R.E. O’Leary, San Francisco

Defender can’t pick cases

The May 27 Examiner story, “Public defender costs come under scrutiny,” should have acknowledged it is the prosecutors who decide who and what to charge in San Francisco. Once a person is charged with a crime, as a society we are duty-bound to defend that person. A more well-rounded report might have been entitled something like, “Costs of deciding to charge a person with a crime.”

Leaving aside crimes of violence, identity theft, guns, and DUI, why are so many drug cases being filed in San Francisco? A high percentage of the total felony cases filed are nonviolent drug sales or possession.

Although the amount of money for defense costs has risen since 2005-06, so too has the caseload risen. How much have budgets for the District Attorney’s Office and Police Department increased in that same time period?

Matthew J. Rosen, Public Defender’s Office, San Francisco

Brown should fix budget

I propose that we nominate Willie Brown to permanently resolve the California budget problem by leading an initiative to reduce the excessively rich compensation, benefits and pension plans of California public employees.

As Assembly Speaker, Brown and his cronies generously loaded these employees with compensation packages beyond their competitive worth. In return he received their votes.

I believe Willie Brown is available for this assignment. Currently he is wandering around San Francisco being a media personality. Surely he is capable of something more challenging than that.

After all, he helped make the mess, he should help clean it up.

Michael McGreevy, San Francisco

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