Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Neal Patel boards the gravy train

Another Bicycle Coalition employee follows Andy Thornley onto the city's gravy train. And the "Amazing" Neal Patel will be working in the Livable Streets Program---you can't make this stuff up---where he will be in a better position to push the city's "improvements" on Polk Street that he's been writing about on the Bicycle Coalition's blog: Separated bike lanes are "the right option, the only real option," etc.

By packing the MTA with bike people, Ed Reiskin---a bike guy himself---can better implement the Bicycle Coalition's agenda and pursue City Hall's war on cars.

The Bicycle Coalition's announcement:

Saying Farewell to our Amazing Planning Director, Neal Patel

It is with a combination of sadness and excitement that we bid farewell to our outstanding Planning Director, Neal Patel. After six years, Neal is leaving the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to work at the SFMTA, where he will be working on a number of bike, pedestrian and traffic calming projects with the Livable Streets Program.

Neal will be greatly missed by our staff and countless members who got to know him through his leadership on crucial and challenging projects like Fell and Oak street, Polk Street and Masonic, as well as countless bike riders[sic] that he led for our members. While sad for us, this is great news for San Francisco. Neal will bring his knowledge, diplomacy and passion for bicycle and pedestrian improvement projects to the City, where he can help make great change to our streets. Come say farewell to Neal at
Golden Wheel on June 20, his last day.

Want to follow in Neal’s dapper footsteps and become a part of the SF Bike Coalition’s passionate Program team? We’re hiring for two positions...

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The city's spineless progressive leadership

Progressive political leaders in San Francisco are increasingly spineless. I've already cited their reaction to the uprising in Polk Gulch---complete silence---and now we have their failure to appoint a serious reformer to the Ethics Commission, one of the authors, Hulda Garfolo, of the Grand Jury's critical report a few years ago. (See also Harvey Rose's report comparing SF's ethics laws with L.A.'s).

Good to see Melissa Griffin writing about this failure. She's beginning to fill the independent role that Ken Garcia used to occupy that's been lacking on the Examiner under the new "progressive" ownership:

To her great detriment, Garfolo told the truth to the rules committee when it was considering which candidate to recommend to the full Board of Supervisors---her or Brett Andrews. She barely hid her disdain for the commission and the outsized influence of its executive director, John St. Croix. Even her application said, "I would like to help bring credibility and public trust to this commission, which avoids transparency as often as it can." So, instead of Garfolo, the committee chose Andrews, the executive director of the Positive Resource Center, a nonprofit that serves the HIV-positive community. A self-described "proud, LGBT, African-American man," Andrews doesn't have quite the expertise of Garfolo, but he didn't appear to have her reform agenda, either.

Griffin notes the hypocrisy of progressive supervisors, including Supervisor Avalos:

Instead, Supervisor John Avalos said he wanted to appoint a lawyer or someone with legal "expertise." But back in 2011, Avalos voted against the appointment of lawyer Dorothy Liu, saying that legal knowledge is fine but the commission needed "someone with vision."

Garfolo was too candid and too serious a reformer to get progressive support---or to qualify as a member of the City Hall "family."

Supervisor Breed---who of course didn't vote for Garfolo---made a typically stupid contribution to the meeting:

Breed said she was particularly struck by Garfolo’s comments that the ethics commission is led by the staff. She questioned how effective Garfolo could be “if you don’t have a level of trust for people managing the department? It is about people working together and being open-minded, not just pointing the finger,” said Breed.

"Pointing the finger," that is, substantive criticism of how the commission operates, is too negative for Breed. Garfolo's mistake: she didn't kiss enough ass at that meeting. She was supposed to pretend that the commission and the supervisors were "working together" for the good of San Francisco.

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