An Idea for Some Budget Independence from San Francisco? Let’s Take A Trip In the Wayback Machine…

No, really, I promise. This isn’t going to become the MUNI Budget Blog. But at least for this month, it kinda has to be, because right now is when plans are being made outside of SF that will directly affect everyone in town, be they a MUNI rider or not. So now’s the time to speak up, so we can at least not have a totally miserable day on MUNI all the time.
Today we read the latest Big Bad Budget Blues story in the Chronicle. As I was reading it, I remembered something and did a little digging in my notes. Eureka!
Now, I sometimes give Now State Senator Mark Leno a hard time, not because he’s a bad guy, but because he was part of some budget votes that used bond (borrowed) money for daily expenditures, and cut transit funding. And yes, I understand that sometimes Good People have to vote for Bad Budgets and all, but still. We’re the City That Knows How, remember?
Anyway, back in mid 2007 I remember going to a “blogger meetup” with his campaign at Martuni’s and I politely asked what ideas he had on stabilizing MUNI funding, and I remember jotting down some notes on one that was actually pretty good – allowing counties to go to the people and take a vote to repeal the vehicle license fee cuts Arnie signed into law when he was installed as Governor.
If you think about it, it has some merit. After all, if Orange and Kern Counties want to be bastions of the “No We Can’t” crowd, fine! Let ’em. If San Francisco would like to do something different, they’d have the option to put it to the people and let them decide.
Now, passing something like this a) in the Legislature and then b) locally would take some Herculean efforts. However, if Sacramento is going to keep jerking us around, we need the means to declare independence and do what’s right for our city & county. If other counties don’t want to do this, fine, but they should butt out of our affairs.
I for one, do not want to see streets become a parking lot full of traffic jammed cars where no one can get to work or school. I also don’t see anything changing if we leave it up to someone else. It’s time for San Francisco to put aside the rhetoric and apply some of that know-how to really do something. I really don’t care who it is, but the persons that do will get rewarded because they did something instead of just talk about it.
If you don’t think this is a good idea, fine. Then come up with an idea of your own and share it here or elsewhere. I’m not a “toss money at a problem” kind of person, but I do know that if you can’t depend on stable revenue, you can never make a realistic budget plan, ever. So, come on San Franciscans! We’ve got plenty of smart people living here….

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