Muni drivers don’t need cushy parking benefits 

Last year, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency changed its rules so it could charge Muni drivers $80 a month to park their cars at work. Heaven forbid we actually make them take their own transit to work — we even were going to give them cut-rate parking.

But now SFMTA has suspended its plans to charge Muni drivers for parking. The governing board is considering giving drivers weekly and daily rates in addition to monthly rates.

The ultimate irony is that SFMTA’s conjoined twin — the Department of Parking and Traffic — has decided to enforce an arcane rule that prohibits private lots from offering monthly or daily rates to private citizens like me.

We’re supposed to pay cash by the hour, even though Muni drivers may have the option to pay monthly by check — if they ever have to pay anything at all.

Cary Fulbright
San Francisco


Swerving to the right

 

Just as Bill Clinton did, President Barack Obama has moved sharply to the right in the middle of his first term in order to assure himself a second term in 2012. He just announced he is recommending to Congress that they ease the “outdated” regulations on Wall Street.

Those pesky regulations only serve to prevent Wall Street from restarting its greedy moves that caused the worst job losses since the Great Depression.

Earlier, Obama announced he was appointing a new chief of staff, Bill Daley, who used to be the lead Washington representative of JP Morgan Chase. And Obama’s new national security adviser is Tom Donilon, the former Washington lobbyist for Fannie Mae.

Don Havis
San Mateo

Soaring public pensions

 

I would bet that interim Mayor Ed Lee is not going to take tough measures to get San Francisco’s pension and fringe cost under control.

The public sector is utterly unlike the private sector. In a private business, the company and employees can negotiate a generous contract, but it can all be scuttled if customers won’t pay the price. In the public sector, taxpayers cannot cut off the money and, therefore, have no real power.

Public-sector management negotiators are not true adversaries either. Salaries, pensions and benefits in the public sector soar out of sight because there is no true opposing force such as free-market competition is in the private sector.

Leslie E. Mangus
San Francisco

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