Maybe It's Time Nathaniel Ford Left, And Replaced With Someone Who Will Work for US for a Change?
As the owner/riders of Muni, we need to ask ourselves if our appointed managers are doing the job. And, after much review of his tenure, I am finally beginning to wonder if we have hired the best person for the job. I'm talking, of course, about the very, very well paid Nathaniel Ford, our alleged "CEO" of the MTA, but who seems to think his job description is to ruin the agency as much as possible. I'd resisted for some time now to join the call to see this guy go, understanding that his job sure as Hell isn't easy. In light of recent events, however, he needs to leave.
Reading about his temper tantrum with Muni management, in reaction to the article SF Weekly reporter Joe Eskenazi and I wrote last week was amusing at first - it reminded me of the time I wrote an article in high school that pissed off the principal because the school board read it.
Re-reading the post, I realized just how arrogant, and how dishonest Mr. Ford is as our CEO. He's not upset at the content of the article - he's just upset that public servants talked to the public (i.e. us, the owner/riders) and spilled the beans on the lies and deceit about Muni that have been a hallmark of his tenure there. No disputing the facts, and no plan of course to fix Muni - just engage in attacks, no doubt coordinated with Mr. Mayor. (Also a hallmark of the Ford regime: a significant decrease in morale at all levels of the agency.)
More importantly, since he started, he seems to have shown a true distintrest in trying to make Muni the best it could be, despite bad times. He is now openly admitting he is going to significantly downsize the system, permanently, and basically ignore that $3 million Transit Effecitiveness Project to guide said cuts. Even if Muni were to get "more money," (and you know they'll be begging and crying and saying "state gov't" this and so on) the cuts will be permanent, so no matter what ends up happning, you will be relying on a slower, stupider, crowded, and dirty system - far worse than the one he found when he was hired even if Muni gets "more money". Sound practical? Of course not.
This is not acceptable, and since Nathaniel Ford doesn't seem to get that his first duty is to serve the owner/riders, and not the whims of the Mayor and his political apparatchniks in Room 200, then it's time for him to take his trail of destruction elsewhere, and let us find someone else who understands that public service is not about personal power or personal enrichment with big pay, but instead a chance to do some good for the people (us) who pay their salaries.
Realistically, nothing will happen until we replace Newsom (or whomever is actually in charge at City Hall), but for now, every time there's a public hearing, let Nathaniel Ford know what you think about his Muni-bashing tenure at one of those phony public hearings the MTA likes to hold to make you feel like you have input, when in fact they made the decisions long ago. It's a sad state of affairs, but then again, that article in the Weekly wouldn't have struck a nerve if there wasn't truth to it.