Redevelopment savings not so frugal after all 

We keep reading that Jerry Brown wants to eliminate redevelopment spending. Good, that’s a cost reduction in the budget.

But as we continue reading, we find that “The redevelopment funds saved can then be used for ... ” Whoa! It’s not a cost reduction any longer. You may have eliminated redevelopment funding, but you’ve also just increased the funding somewhere else.

Will S. Richardson, San Carlos

Muni drivers need parking

A Monday letter writer complained about the parking arrangements for Muni operators. But many operators live outside The City in towns that do not have any public transit. So they either have to drive to work or get fired for not showing up.

Others, such as myself, must drive because we start before regular service starts. Due to the lower level of dependability Muni now has, we are afraid to rely on owl service because we must show up on time to drive our scheduled routes. Therefore, we must have somewhere to park.

M. J. Benardo, San Francisco

Money and time wasted

Fourteen years ago this week, I found myself forced to go to the FBI and report illegally sole-sourced construction products in higher education — because no one would do the right thing in six years at my job.

Eight years ago, the state auditor was finally allowed by legislators to prepare an investigative report on one of 20 years’ worth of similar specifications on a 110-building campus.

Last year, the Legislature finally heard about the depth and breadth of the scam statewide, and the state auditor’s report. They passed AB635, an emergency law that was gutted of key provisions to stop the scam. California has wasted more than $1 billion since my first report.

In contrast, the largest state east of the Mississippi smelled a rat with similar specs from the same manufacturer in December 2010 and stopped the scam in 2½ weeks statewide. Is it any wonder California is broke?

Janet Coral Campbell, San Francisco

Boondoggle nothing new

Sunday’s article about the Laguna Honda boondoggle made it seem like a series of special coincidences. But such boondoggles develop over and over again. To obtain money, promises need to be made to the voters. But once that money is secured, it gets spent to best serve the public bureaucracy. Politicians take credit for launching great initiatives, but are not still around for follow-through. The details change, but the pattern leading to the “boondoggle” label is constant.

Steve Lawrence, San Francisco

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