Does MUNI Boss Nate Ford Deserve A Raise? Mayor Newsom Says "Yes" - What Do YOU Think?
Sometimes writing this little blog is like shooting fish in a barrel, especially when you open a newspaper and read this little news item about MUNI Boss Nate Ford's raise.
The story reveals so much more than just the facts - in this case the MTA board is giving serious consideration to giving Our City's highest paid (at $298,000/year, plus low interest home loan, plus pension, plus benefits etc.) a nice big bonus. It gives us a nice overview as to why it is people distrust MUNI, and the junkie logic that seems to infect the place.
Note, for example how not only does Mayor Newsom believe Mr. Ford should get his big bonus (despite the fact that the papers tell us MUNI has Big Problems), he also interjects that the voter mandated 85% on time rate is "unrealistic" and that it should be abandoned.
Note also that he supported the measure in the first place, but, like he does so often, he's now against it. Just like when he supported the formation of a Taxi Commission, only to then support its total dismantling with the infamous "Measure A." John Kerry would be proud of these flip flops. So is San Francisco, according to the latest vote count!
Likewise, when Andrew Sullivan of "Rescue Muni" is asked whether Ford deserves the raise or not, we get an answer only a politician could love. Is he for the raise? Against it? In the effort to try and offend no one, he ended up not saying anything. C'mon, Andrew, you're better than this. You're the head of a group that claims to be for us riders. Now is not the time for Establishment Doublespeak to make everyone happy - now's the time to make some noise.
Even funnier (in the "funny as in frakked" way not "funny as in ha ha" way) is Mayor Newsom's statement that to make MUNI run a losy "80% of the time," the system needs $90 million more dollars.
Now, putting aside the fact that Loyal Readers have pointed out time and again how meaningless the systemwide percentage statistic is, I find it really kind of insulting that after we went through all the pain and suffering that was the Magical Measure A campaign, we're now being told by Mayor Newsom what boils down to "We can't even do a half-assed job without more money, and most of that has to go to the boss, even though we screwed up the T-Third rollout and spent a bunch of money on parties, and frankly I don't care because I have a free car from you taxpayers!"
Or something like that.
All this, right as they're considering a pay raise for Nate Ford. Even though the system's at a C- level of service, he gets a raise. And they'll pay him no matter what for the length of his entire contract - even if he got fired tomorrow for gross negligence. In other words, there's no "performance incentive" here - just more and more money for the top, while we get stuck with higher fares and more service cuts.
I guess since the Mayor's so popular, this is what folks want. And I suppose that asking MUNI to keep its employees from stealing from us or at least collect the money they're owed in an efficient manner is too much to ask of a popular Mayor or the best paid guy in City Government.
Meanwhile, we see the results of squandered money, and opportunity every time a Loyal Reader sends in a tale of woe to the site.
And people wonder why a blog about MUNI gets so many hits in the first place. Now you know!
If you'd like to send an email to the Folks In Charge, why not contact the SF MTA, or send an email to Our Mayor Have fun with it and if you've got a particularly entertaining one to share, send it in and we'll use it in a future Reader Mail feature!