Saturday, June 21, 2014

Grand Jury report on the Port of San Francisco



(Elena Schmid, Grand Jury foreperson, appeared on the KQED Newsroom last night to discuss the report.)

The Grand Jury report on the Port of San Francisco highlights an issue recently raised about the MTA's Board of Directors: like the MTA board, the mayor appoints all of the members of the Port Commission:

The current system authorizes the mayor to make all five appointments...Mayoral appointments do not involve a public application process or consideration of any candidate not named by the mayor. It is recommended that the Board of Supervisors make two Port Commission appointments and the Mayor make three. Appointments made by the Board of Supervisors undergo a more public process of applications, hearings and votes before taking office. Candidates also are required to publicly disclose their financial interests in advance of Board consideration, allowing for a review of potential conflicts of interest. This process is unique to Board of Supervisors (page 1).

The system didn't work very well for city taxpayers on the America's Cup project:

Planning by the Port and the Mayor’s Office for the America’s Cup failed to include agreements that protected the City’s interests and failed to maximize the benefits that the City might have achieved. The usual agreement for sharing revenue from the proceeds of use of Port facilities was not included in the agreement. A new cruise ship terminal, built at considerable Port cost, was made available with no return to the City even though the America’s Cup sponsors promoted concerts and viewing suites that potentially resulted in large profits for the sponsors and nothing to the Port. The Port and the City lost a combined $11.5M on the event (page 6).

The present system also didn't work well on the original Golden State Warriors arena proposal the city tried to rush through the process:

Attempted fast-tracking of the approval process by the Mayor’s Office to have a “legacy project.” Very little outreach to community members and neighborhood groups that would have been affected by increased traffic flow and transit needs on the Embarcadero were glossed over. Hiring former mayoral staffers to facilitate the approval process, leading to the impression that the public role was secondary to the Mayor’s interest.

Or on the 8 Washington Street project rejected by city voters:

Strongly pushed for approval by the Mayor’s office, including testimonials in TV commercials by the Mayor. Substantial contributions were made to non-profit organizations by the developer. These organizations subsequently endorsed the project. Defeated in two ballot measures by a 2:1 margin (page 6).

On the Giants' huge Mission Rock project:

It should be noted that, although this proposed project is adhering relatively close to the timeline above (Term Sheet endorsement by the Board of Supervisors in May, 2013), there has been very little publicity and public outreach. This is of particular concern because the project involves 650-1000 new housing units, several high-rise buildings requiring zoning changes, and a 2,690 space parking lot (page 24)...Although the development of Pier 48 and Seawall Lot 337, also known as Mission Rock, began in 2007, there has been insufficient information and involvement for community groups, neighborhood and merchants’ associations, and residents potentially affected by this project...The Jury recommends increased publicity and outreach so that an acceptable compromise can be reached on the scope of this development (page 32).


The Mission Rock project

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8 Comments:

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

On the KQED video above: Marisa Lagos, a reporter for the Chroniclewas apparently invited to offer a City Hall perspective on the report. Her notion that it might be difficult to get our state legislators to sponsor a law allowing the Board of Supervisors to appoint three members of the Port Commission was based on no reality that I know of. Why would Mark Leno or Phil Ting object to that?

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would be horrible if the mayor weren't elected by the people (see representative democracy)

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

City supervisors are also elected by the people. They are in reality closer to their constituents, since they are elected from districts.

 
At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They are in reality closer to their constituents, since they are elected from districts."

god you are a moron

 
At 11:30 AM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

And Anonymous, you are a chicken shit. It's sad that 50% of the anonymous posts on this blog has lower the apparent average IQ of the posters over time. Why not put together a cogent argument? If name calling is all you got, then you, sir, are the moron.

 
At 3:40 PM, Anonymous James said...

Yes it takes a lot of balls Rkeezy to have a profile that takes you to

"Profile Not Available

The Blogger Profile you requested cannot be displayed. Many Blogger users have not yet elected to publicly share their Profile."

 
At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rkeezy I will share my name age gender and place I went to school if you do. You first

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Nobody cares.

 

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