Thursday, August 23, 2018

Why Ed Reiskin wasn't fired


From Tuesday's Examiner:

“If you look back over what he’s accomplished in his seven years in that position, he’s done a really good job,” Cheryl Brinkman, chair of the SFMTA board, told the Examiner, after Reiskin’s evaluation. “People forget how much he’s accomplished.”...Under Reiskin, Brinkman said, SFMTA employees feel “empowered” to pursue bold ideas. When asked why she believes in Reiskin despite recent harsh public critiques — even from the mayor — she answered, “It’s hard, the intangibles of people. They are who they are. The person he is, is a good leader, he’s humble. He has a sense of humility about him, but he’s also incredibly intelligent.

Brinkman would say that, since she and Reiskin both belong to the bike cult (Cheryl Brinkman: "Transit advocate").

Brinkman in 2008:

With the gas prices high I'm now hoping for a short sharp supply shock---to really bring the point home to the people. I was cycling yesterday and just wished that the car drivers would all run out of gas all of a sudden and have to push their heavy hunks of steel with their bare hands to move them. A week or two of limited gas.

Recall that Reiskin brandished his bike/anti-car credentials while he was still at DPW (An Interview with DPW Director Ed Reiskin):

...I enjoy biking because it’s the best way to get around. Last week on my day to do kid drop-off I took my five-year-old on the back of my bike. And she was really excited: ‘can we do this every morning?’...The implementation of the bike plan is really important and we support other departments on this...And we need more public realm improvements to make the city generally more welcoming for people so it’s less that the city’s built for cars and everyone else is an afterthought. We want to flip that around. The more this happens the more welcoming it will be for bikes. It will all slow traffic and improve safety for everyone...

Anyone taking his child on his bike on city streets should be automatically disqualified from being a department head. After he became director of the MTA, his wife drew the line at doing that on Masonic Avenue:

Ed Reiskin, transportation director of the SFMTA, stressed the importance of the Masonic Avenue improvements, saying years ago his wife would not let him ride his bicycle along Masonic Avenue with his then-young daughter in tow because it may be unsafe.

That Masonic is particularly unsafe is untrue, but no street in the city is safe enough for children on bikes. Not just because of cars, since a simple fall can cause serious injury to adults---and particularly to children. Reiskin has long advocated getting the city's children on bikes.

Anyhow, that's not exactly evidence that Reiskin is, in Brinkman's opinion, "incredibly intelligent."

What about Reiskin's "humility"? Maybe, but he has a lot to be humble about, and $342,483 a year surely represents some big-time humility!

One thing Reiskin's regime at the SFMTA does that no doubt pleases Brinkman and other members of the city's bike cult: the agency likes to hire former Bicycle Coalition employees, since their beliefs and practices fit nicely with the department's agenda.

Brinkman on Polk Street

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