Make Up Your Mind, Mr. Ford, SFMTA Board. We're Sick of the Drama
If you've been following local news at all, you know that the CEO of the MTA, Mr. Nathaniel Ford, has been a candidate to take over the Washington Airport Authority (WAA) in DC. The "will he stay or will he go" drama has been extended over and over and over as the folks in DC can't decide what to do, and ambiguity from the MTA board and Mr. Ford about his plans. Now, it seems no matter what, his future is in doubt.
Now, far be it from me to say someone shouldn't persue a career and the opportunities it presents, be they near or far. I do have to say though, that someone that is as well compensated as Mr. Ford, on the public's dime, only ask that he complete his job here, before taking off for exotic locales elsewhere. As it stands, if Mr. Ford were to be asked to leave, he's still going to get paid his huge salary and benefits for a little over a year. This, right as historic labor negotiations, mandated by 2010's Prop. G are about to start. EXCELLENT timing.
Don't you wish you had a job where you could tell your boss "I quit" or get fired and still get paid full salary and benefits on the company dime for a year or so? I sure would! People bitch about Muni operators, but come on, this has to be a bit more of a problem. I'd been warning people from Day One of Mr. Ford's contract that having a provision that keeps him paid for the duration of his contract no matter what was a mistake, and 5 years later, we're seeing it become a real possibility.
This isn't the first time Ford has been considered for another job elsewhere. To me I have to wonder how focused he is on the problems of the agency if most of his time is spent looking out the window at happier locales. What's really sad is that as I read the posts from when he started, there was a real sense of optimism that things would get better. Needless to say, that hasn't happened.
Without knowing who might replace him, I can't say that a change would do much to improve the agency. However, I think it would be nice to see this matter resolved, one way or the other, and move on. Unfortunately, after all the damage that's been done by Ford and some of the MTA Board members, I question whether this agency's leadership understands the situation it's in, and that it's time for bold action to set things right - while we still can.
As it stands, we, the owner/riders are losing daily, when things are literally falling apart, and San Francisco, the allegedly "green" city, has a transit system Third World countries wouldn't put up with.