Letters from our readers: SFMTA fare evaders find way to skirt system 

Scofflaws and vandals have found a way to thwart the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s efforts to enforce fare evasion. Just mention the spurious claims of “racial profiling” and the SFMTA just melts. Ordinary citizens will continue to subsidize the criminal behavior of fare evaders due to the SFMTA’s lack of a backbone. No wonder our public transportation system is always operating in the red.

Robert A. Jung, San Francisco

Muni overtime

The amount of overtime that the SFMTA pays drivers is not due to union rules. It is due to the management’s not hiring enough employees to handle the workload, so the shortage must be filled by overtime.

In any case, the cost of Muni overtime is minuscule compared to other transportation shortfalls, like the rising bridge tolls because of the seismic retrofits, or a fourth Caldecott bore that will not generate any extra money to pay for itself.

Bruce De Benedictis, Oakland

Truth from City Hall

I salute Public Defender Jeff Adachi for addressing one of the major causes of public services cuts and fee increases in San Francisco. Past politicians made promises to our public employees while the numbers wonks told them the generous retirement pensions and health care insurance benefits would lead to teacher layoffs and eventual bankruptcies, as we see across the pond in Vallejo.

No other politician in San Francisco’s recent history has shown the gumption to tackle the problem head on. Instead, they chose to kick the can down the road for a couple of years so their successors would have to deal with the problem.

Jamie Whitaker, San Francisco

Prop. 14 good for state

The Examiner has joined all other Bay Area daily newspapers in support of Proposition 14. The “open primary” and “top two” system has won near-unanimous endorsement across California from editorial pages ranging from conservative to liberal.

San Francisco Republican Chair Howard Epstein’s May 16 letter was incorrect when he claimed that local Republicans “will not have candidates for state and federal office in the general election” if Prop. 14 is adopted.

In fact, if Prop. 14 were in effect this year, Congressional Democrats — Nancy Pelosi, Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, as well as Assembly Democrats Fiona Ma and Tom Ammiano — would each have “top two” qualified Republican opponents on the November ballot.

Prop. 14 is modeled after the primary election system used in Washington state since 2004 and is recommended “without reservation” to California voters by Washington’s Republican secretary of state, Sam Reed.

Jim Hartman, Berkeley

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