Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 53603
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2018/09/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/19    

2009/12/25-2010/1/19 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:53603 Activity:nil
12/24   Why San Francisco and union and government suck:
        http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/12/unions-graft-stunning-incompetence-make.html
        \_ http://www.burbed.com/2010/01/03/san-francisco-richer-and-richer-and-richer
           San Francisco to become richer and richer and richer. It's
           Disneyland for adults! YAY!!!
        \_ No doubt that there is plenty of corruption in San Francisco that
           should be cleaned up, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to
           the intitutionalized corruption that the GOP encouraged under the
           Bush Administration. Which Mish of course turned a blind eye to.
           SF is actually gaining public school students btw, and I am not
           clear as to why a city getting wealthier and wealthier is supposed
           to be a bad thing.
           \_ The link is a summary of the article in the SF Weekly.  Maybe you
              shouldn't blame Bush for everything.  Perhaps we can agree that
              corruption is bad, and try to address that?
              \_ That is what I said. Both parties are corrupt, the GOP
                 even worse than the Democrats. What are you doing about it
                 other than posting links to the motd?
                 \_ the party that is in power or one that is powerful is
                    usually the one that is corrupt. I give the D party
                    3 more years before it implodes just like the R party.
                    \_ You are basically right, though I think it will take
                       more like 12-14 years. How long was from the election
                       of Reagan until Tom DeLay was brought down?
2018/09/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/19    

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globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/12/unions-graft-stunning-incompetence-make.html
The Worst-Run Big City in the US Despite its good intentions, San Francisco is not leading the country in gay marriage. Despite its spending more money per capita on homelessness than any comparable city, its homeless problem is worse than any comparable city's. Despite its spending more money per capita, period, than almost any city in the nation, San Francisco has poorly managed, budget-busting capital projects, overlapping social programs no one is certain are working, and a transportation system where the only thing running ahead of schedule is the size of its deficit. It's time to face facts: San Francisco is spectacularly mismanaged and arguably the worst-run big city in America. Yet despite that stratospheric amount, San Francisco can't point to progress on many of the social issues it spends liberally to tackle -- and no one is made to answer when the city comes up short. Who is to blame for this city's wretched state of affairs? An engineer by trade, Agunbiade was appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom to head the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department in 2004. During his reign, an audit revealed, rec centers frequently didn't open, because staff simply didn't show up -- and the department had no process to do anything about it. Bad news: Agunbiade's department had no plan for how to staff them. When the city controller's office made the common-sense recommendation that groundskeepers ought to be where they were assigned to be when they're supposed to be there, Agunbiade fought them on it for three years. Running a department where no one knows where anyone is -- and no one even wants to know? Accordingly, millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted on good ideas that fail for stupid reasons, and stupid ideas that fail for good reasons, and hardly anyone is taken to task. The intrusion of politics into government pushes the city to enter long-term labor contracts it obviously can't afford, and no one is held accountable. A belief that good intentions matter more than results leads to inordinate amounts of government responsibility being shunted to nonprofits whose only documented achievement is to lobby the city for money. Meanwhile, piles of reports on how to remedy these problems go unread. There's no outrage, and nobody is disciplined, so things don't get fixed. Here are a few examples of the best of San Francisco at its worst. Finding books in the library is easy: There are logical, organized systems in place. Finding where the money to build libraries went -- that's hard. Last year, the Civil Grand Jury could not find -- we reiterate, could not find -- up-to-date budget numbers for the city's Branch Library Improvement Program. The numbers that were available aren't pretty: Voters approved a $106 million bond in 2000 to rebuild 19 libraries, and $28 million more was ponied up by the state and private donors. That money was spent without a coherent building plan being formulated between the Library Commission and Department of Public Works -- leading to such large cost overruns and long delays that the commission abandoned five of the projects. In 2007, the city went back to the voters, asking for another $50 million for libraries -- without publicizing that this would fund the five unfinished projects voters had already paid for. In 2007, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) held a seminar for the nonprofits vying for a piece of $78 million in funding. Grant seekers were told that in the next funding cycle, they would be required -- for the first time -- to provide quantifiable proof their programs were accomplishing something. First, many San Francisco nonprofits believe they're entitled to money without having to prove that their programs work. DCYF is the only city department that even attempts to track results. In the meantime, the city is spending about $500 million a year on programs that might or might not work. Job protection for even the most obviously unfit Muni workers is among the strongest in the city. Peskin had proposed increasing the percentage of employees who could be fired for incompetence from 15 to 10 percent. But if that provision were included in the measure, union reps said, they would flood the "No on A" campaign with money and volunteers. You can't reform the city charter without winning an election; and unions -- almost by definition -- don't want major reform. It would be a paradox -- but that would contravene a number of union bylaws. You can't get San Francisco running efficiently, because that would require large numbers of unionized city workers to willingly admit their redundancy and wastefulness. This problem comes up almost every time the city negotiates labor contracts, which is part of the reason San Francisco is constantly on the brink of fiscal ruin. Politically powerful unions -- the progressives are beholden to the service unions; moderates cater to police, firefighters, and building trades; Politicians approve them, despite needing to balance the budget every year, because the budget impact of proposed contracts is examined by the Board of Supervisors only for the following year, no matter how long contracts run. According to former city controller Ed Harrington, it has become common practice not to schedule any raises for the first year of a contract, but to provide extensive raises in later years. The result is a contract that looks affordable one year out, then blows up in the city's face. City employees receive up to 90 percent of their already generous salaries in pensions and many also receive lifetime health care -- meaning that as they retire, labor costs soar. Special interests "go to the voters and say, 'Do you like libraries? And if voters don't care to think through the fiscal ramifications -- well, neither do their elected representatives. Research by professor Bill Watkins of California Lutheran University over the past decade reveals that San Francisco is shedding its middle-class population at double the state rate. The city, however, is not losing low-income people at nearly the state's pace -- and is gaining wealthy residents at far more than California's overall rate. In short, we are replacing our middle class with a rich elite and a burgeoning underclass. Watkins' research also reveals that San Francisco is going gray. The number of city residents between ages 45 and 64 has climbed, while the count of those aged 20 to 44 has dropped. The city, it seems, has become a target destination for the wealthy and retirees. These are not the people who want to make sacrifices now to shore up the city's future. When everybody is politicking but nobody is accountable for the results, waste happens; After he resigned in disgrace, the Board of Supervisors, astonishingly, passed a resolution commending him for his years of service. He was offered the job of manager of San Francisco's wastewater improvement program. San Francisco tried to keep Agunbiade on the payroll, even after years of mismanagement, damning allegations of sexual and religious harassment, and potentially exposing the city to a massive lawsuit. Those are lengthy snips but they come from a six page article, well worth reading in entirety, filled with still more examples of striking incompetence. Dave Boz - comment #25: "Despite its spending more money per capita on homelessness than any comparable city, its homeless problem is worse than any comparable city's." The single largest problem with San Francisco and California as a whole is the unions. They rule the state and the city and there is no system of checks and balances, nor are they held accountable. I won't even get started on the non-profits, having worked for two of them. The cost of living here on top of the exorbitant child care costs, a school system that is hemorrhaging students and is one of the worst in the nation and the simple fact that there are more dog parks in the City than playgrounds, makes it clear that San Francisco is not a kid friendly city. Lesson of Thidwick the Moose I can add little to the above comments other than suggest it is time for someone to stand up to the unions and the freeloaders and say enough is enoug...
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www.burbed.com/2010/01/03/san-francisco-richer-and-richer-and-richer -> www.burbed.com/2010/01/03/san-francisco-richer-and-richer-and-richer/
Despite its good intentions, San Francisco is not leading the country in gay marriage. Despite its spending more money per capita on homelessness than any comparable city, its homeless problem is worse than any comparable city's. Despite its spending more money per capita, period, than almost any city in the nation, San Francisco has poorly managed, budget-busting capital projects, overlapping social programs no one is certain are working, and a transportation system where the only thing running ahead of schedule is the size of its deficit. It's time to face facts: San Francisco is spectacularly mismanaged and arguably the worst-run big city in America. Yet despite that stratospheric amount, San Francisco can't point to progress on many of the social issues it spends liberally to tackle -- and no one is made to answer when the city comes up short. Sure that sounds gloomly (and there are quotes from Joel Kotkin who believes that strip malls and exurbs are the keys to success). But here's the good news: The city will continue its orgy of waste and incompetence. San Francisco can afford plenty of both: We're rich -- and getting richer all the time. According to the controller's office, San Franciscans' per-capita income jumped from an already-generous $58,244 in 2004 to $74,515 last year. Of course, for many San Franciscans, those numbers represent another failure. The city's middle class is melting away faster than polar ice. With them, economists and demographers say, goes any realistic hope that voters will demand serious change in search of long-term reform. Research by professor Bill Watkins of California Lutheran University over the past decade reveals that San Francisco is shedding its middle-class population at double the state rate. The city, however, is not losing low-income people at nearly the state's pace -- and is gaining wealthy residents at far more than California's overall rate. In short, we are replacing our middle class with a rich elite and a burgeoning underclass. Watkins' research also reveals that San Francisco is going gray. The number of city residents between ages 45 and 64 has climbed, while the count of those aged 20 to 44 has dropped. The city, it seems, has become a target destination for the wealthy and retirees. These are not the people who want to make sacrifices now to shore up the city's future. For that matter, neither do young people -- because their futures likely involve moving out of San Francisco. According to Joel Kotkin, "San Francisco is Disneyland for adults, or a place people go until they grow up." San Francisco is getting richer, and is only going to become richer. Eventually, San Francisco will take the lead from Manhattan (our mortal enemy) and reign as the most expensive place to live in America. if you're not feeling the enthusiasm for this decade, you should be. January 3rd, 2010 at 4:34 pm At first glance I thought the title read: "San Francisco: Richter and Richter and Richter" :) Was at SF over the new year checking out several neighborhoods, and all of them felt lifeless. When your city becomes too expensive to live in, those that help contribute most to the economy will move out. I guess maybe all those rich people will continue to buy pricier and pricier homes, but from my experience the more wealthy people live in any given area, the less character they tend to have. Its also true that the homeless problem is a big issue in SF. I rarely go because you almost get assailed by the homeless begging for money, and what's more is that they're pretty aggressive about it too. Anyhow, SF is just the start of what's already happening for most Cali Metros. While I myself am more likely to lean towards liberal politics, I think the state of CA is a good example of what happens when you have one party rule. Since CA will always be a strictly liberal democrat controlled state, it will continue to bleed and waste money until the end of time. January 4th, 2010 at 6:25 pm bob, you have to be the oldest 30-something person on the planet. I've been in the city at night an average of once a week for the past decade. mostly in the mission, SOMA, noe (below the shopping cart line) or NOPA (I like to eat) and have never had or seen a problem. while I agree on the spending explosion, CA mostly elects Republican governors these days (the guvernator, Wilson) and I'm pretty sure the liberals wish some of that prison guard gold was spent elsewhere. more than one party (or both) I blame the proposition process. your conclusion that the outlook is hopeless may be correct, but you should turn to another explanation. Since CA will always be a strictly liberal democrat controlled state, it will continue to bleed and waste money until the end of time. The ability of a minority (yes, usually Republican) to prevent tax increases is a big problem. It boggles my mind that some initiatives are not directly tied to the revenue needed to maintain them, so the "spend" part passes and the "revenue" part does not. so the "spend" part passes and the "revenue" part does not. Yes, Californians are like bubble buyers with a HELOC, and the state legislature is like Countrywide, and mostly Democrats work there. January 4th, 2010 at 10:24 pm Bob wrote: I rarely go because you almost get assailed by the homeless begging for money, and what's more is that they're pretty aggressive about it too. The SF homeless population is the most aggressive I have ever seen. Steve, I work near the Embarcadero - maybe you've had no problem during your culinary excursions in the other parts of the city, but you try sidestepping the aggressive panhandlers (not to mention piles of human faeces on the sidewalk) on your way to work every morning. t=burbed-20&o=1&p=9&l=ez&f=ifr&f=ifr Leave a Reply Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website Spam protection: Sum of 0 + 1 ? No name calling, no personal attacks, no racist stuff, no baiting, etc. Let's be nice to each other in the true Bay Area spirit! WP * Disclaimer + The posts on this weblog are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confer no rights. If companies, properties, etc are mentioned on this blog, you should assume that I have a financial stake in them.