NEW REVELATIONS and DATA: No on Prop A!

FORWARD THIS to friends—counter the City’s $1,2 million campaign.

ENDORSEMENTS: See new list below.

VOTE NO ON A! BIG WASTE OF MONEY. RAISES PROPERTY TAXES AND RENTS.

CUTS BUSES IN NEIGHBORHOODS.

Where the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s billions of dollars have gone: Big salaries, overhead, overtime, bad projects and cost overruns—while Muni service is cut in every neighborhood.

BIG SFMTA SALARIES

While SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) pleads lack of funds, cuts Muni service and raises fares/ fees/ fines, 490 of its employees make over $100,000 per year—eight over $200,000, including its Director at $305,000. Twenty-five SFMTA managers earn more than the Governor of California. SFMTA overhead alone has doubled in five years, from $55 million to $110 million per year. Vote No on A!

CENTRAL SUBWAY COST OVERRUN

The Federal Transit Administration abruptly changed its independent PMOC (Project Oversight Management Consultant). Unlike past weak reports, the new PMOC Report is forceful—projecting a large cost overrun. Any cost overrun means more state/ local funds will be diverted from the Muni system. Vote No on A!

PMOC Report: http://nonorthbeachdig.org/docs/sfmta/PMOC/PMOCAug2014/MD%2001%20SFMTA_CSP_Mini%20MR%200814%20-%20FINAL-10-03-14.pdf

“In the opinion of the PMOC, if the current trends continue, the actual cost of the completed project would be 11% higher than the cost estimate without contingency. The project cost estimate without contingency is $1,499,086,167. If the project were to exceed this estimated cost by 11%, the total cost would be $1,663,985,645, or $85.7 million over the established budget.”

NEW REVENUE BONDS + GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS

The Prop A General Obligation Bond was originally touted as a transportation bond. Now, TV/ campaign literature’s new pitch is “Prop A will improve pedestrian safety”—-even as the SFMTA Board unilaterally issues $89 million of new revenue bonds for pedestrian safety, street improvements and Muni capital projects without voter approval. SFMTA has issued revenue bonds of $170 million in 2011 and $150 million in 2013. Incurring debt without a plan, bonds alone will NOT create a citywide integrated Muni system. Vote No on Prop A!

SFMTA Board of Directors, Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Agenda

11. Approving the issuance of SFMTA Revenue Bonds in an amount not greater than $89,560,000 to make improvements to pedestrian safety and transit signals, Muni transit system safety, Complete Street capital improvements, facility and Transit Fixed Guideway improvements and procure Light Rail Vehicles; approving the Official Statement, Bond Purchase Contract form and the Continuing Disclosure Certificate and authorizing the expenditure of proceeds from the Bonds

REVENUE BOND REPORT: http://www.sfmta.com/sites/default/files/agendaitems/2014/10-21-14%20Item%2011%20Issuance%20of%20Bonds%20for%20infrastructure%20improvements.pdf

SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY

Requested by the Mayor, tech companies, developers and corporations have written checks of $200,000, $105,000, $50,000, $49,999, $49,500… for a total of $1,294,391 to the Prop A campaign. Those who got blank checks from the City likely need to return the favor. If bigwigs donated money to Muni every year, we wouldn’t need a bond measure and debt. Vote No on A!

MUNI MUST HAVE A VISIONARY PLAN

Elimination of buses and bus stops hurts neighborhoods, pushing people into cars—who are then penalized by rising fares/ fees/ fines/ meters/ parking elimination. With bad consensus-building, SFMTA has angered everyone—Muni riders, motorists, taxi drivers/ operators, small businesses, seniors, disabled, youth, low-income, families and outlying neighborhoods. Without compensation, Muni construction has hurt business in NorthBeach, Chinatown, Union Square, Downtown, SOMA…. Let’s get SFMTA’s house in order, focusing on smarter funding allocation, better management, better projects and integrated neighborhood services. VOTE NO ON A!

SFWEEKLY:The Ides of “May”: The Language of the Mayor’s Pet $500 Million Bond “May” Alarm You

http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/your-humble-narrator-proposition-a-muni-bond/Content?oid=3188896

In legal parlance, “shall” is “prescriptive” language and “may” is “permissive” language.

The language in Prop. A is permissive. Everything listed within it is something that “may” be funded, “may” be done.

EXAMINER: “Don’t have faith in Prop A funding direction”, Denise D’Anne

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/dont-have-faith-in-prop-a-funding-direction/Content?oid=2904915

EXAMINER: “Time to tie pay to Muni’s on-time performance”, Jon Golinger

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/time-to-tie-pay-to-munis-on-time-performance/Content?oid=2866417

NOAccountability!

QUICK DATA SHEET

No On Proposition A

No on Transportation Bond, November 4, 2014 Ballot

$500 million bond measures are rare but Prop A squanders the opportunity.

SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) has already wasted billions of dollars while cutting Muni service in every neighborhood. Now Prop A incurs $1 billion in new debt (principal plus interest) with no legal commitment to Muni projects—cutting more buses in neighborhoods while raising property taxes and rents. If new bonds are rejected, property taxes and rents would decrease for everyone—not just for rich companies and the wealthy.

SFMTA annual budgets have increased but Muni riders get only service cuts.

Increased overhead, project cost overruns and mismanagement take money from the entire Muni system—causing Muni service cuts in every neighborhood. Vote No on A!

ANNUAL BUDGETS
Budget Type 2010-2011 2014-2015
SFMTA Budgets $772,507,493 $945,195,950
SFMTA Overhead $55,522,397 $109,695,630
City Budgets $6,562,658,344 $8,581,831,811
Source: http://openbook.sfgov.org/

SFMTA has already wasted billions of dollars in additional funding.

Prop A perpetuates the bad projects, bad decision-making, cost overruns and mismanagement that have wasted billions of dollars given by taxpayers.

· Prop E (1999) created the SFMTA (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) with more powers, more General Fund dollars and an 85% on-time performance mandate. Instead, Muni falsified on-time data and paid bonuses to its Director. Today, Muni’s current on-time compliance rate is only 60.6%.

· Prop K (2003) extended the transportation sales tax and prioritized projects. The Central Subway’s listed cost of $647 million escalated to $1.6 billion. The citywide Transit-Preferential Streets Program and Bus Rapid Network were never implemented.

· Prop A (2007) gave SFMTA more funding authority, revenue-bond-authority and even more General Fund dollars. Instead, work orders sent the new funds to other city departments.

· Prop B (2011) provided a Road Repaving Bond of $248 million, with interest of $181 million, for a total debt of $429 million. Debt isn’t efficient for maintenance.

· Central Subway: $1.6 billion cost includes $605 million in state/ local matching funds—taken from the rest of the Muni system. New cost overruns will take more state/ local dollars from the Muni system.

· Increased budgets have been given to SFMTA by escalating annual budgets, federal/ state/ local funds, transportation taxes, fares/ fees/ fines/ citations/ overhead and more. But SFMTA has mismanaged the money.

Project cost overruns will continue to eat up SFMTA bonds and budgets.

The only independent audit of Muni projects, by CGR Consultants in 2011, concluded that nearly all Muni capital projects have large cost overruns. Projected Central Subway cost overruns will perpetuate the decline of maintenance and infrastructure. A Whistleblower’s Complaint, filed by the Central Subway’s Cost Engineer, alleges a cooking of the books and hidden cost overruns. AUDIT: See Pages 18-19:

http://www.sfcta.org/sites/default/files/content/Executive/Meetings/board/2011/11nov15/CGR%20Audit%20Report%20(Scanned).PDF

Prop A does not restore past Muni service cuts.

Muni has cut service in every neighborhood, decreased annual vehicle revenue miles/ hours, eliminated 6 bus lines, shortened 22 routes, deferred maintenance, increased missed runs/ switchbacks/ late buses, increased fares/ fees/ fines/ meters (1,549,518 parking citations yearly)…. Muni has already cut cross-town routes, night service and route frequency, hurting the low-income, families, disabled, youth and seniors. … Eliminated bus lines will not be restored: Lines 4, 7, 15, 20, 26, 53, 89… Shortened bus routes will not be restored: Lines 1, 2, 10, 12, 16X, 18, 21, 29, 36, 38, 48, 67, 88, 91, 108…Vote No on A!

Prop A perpetuates Muni service cuts in neighborhoods.

Prop A’s Transit Effectiveness Project will perpetuate cuts of neighborhood Muni service in favor of “high-use” corridors—decreasing neighborhood buses, cutting frequency/ bus stops and shortening/ eliminating routes.

Prop A’s vague legal language means more diversion of funds.

· Prop A’s Ordinance does not specifically say how funds are to be spent or what part of the funds will be allocated to vague descriptions of work. “May be allocated” instead of “shall be allocated” legal language.

· Prop A’s Ordinance refers to the Mayor’s Transportation Task Force—but the Report’s funding plan allocates only 49% of funds to Muni (if not diverted elsewhere).

· Prop A’s Ordinance refers to the Transit Effectiveness Project, which diverts neighborhood Muni service to “high-use” corridors—dismantling transit neighborhood networks.

· Prop A’s funds can be diverted to non-Muni projects and other projects’ cost overruns—like the Central Subway, which itself has already taken $605 million of state/ local dollars from the Muni system.

PROP A ORDINANCE:

http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/ElectionsArchives/Meeting_Information/BSC/agendas/2014/November/1-B%20Transportation%20Road%20Improvement%20GO.pdf

P. 3-5: The Ordinance’s legal language makes no commitment to any specific work: “Projects to be funded under the proposed Bond may include but are not limited to the following:”For eight project types: “A portion of the Bond may be allocated to…” Everywhere else in the Ordinance, “shall” is used.

Smarter use of existing and future funds!

Reject this bond measure! From the surging City Budget ($8.6 billion this year), allocate General Fund dollars to Muni’s operating and maintenance budgets. Instead of new bond debt, utilize the $500 million savings in debt interest, to implement 2003 Prop K’s transit-preferential streets—quicker and cheaper. Before unproductive debt, let’s reverse Prop A’s policy of Muni cuts in neighborhoods. Then, SFMTA should work from a carefully-developed plan, prioritized to solve San Francisco’s most critical transportation needs—prior to new bonds. SFMTA should not be doling out $500 million haphazardly to politically-connected groups and to hide mistakes of the past. Vote No on A!

Muni has fewer riders now than it did a decade ago—the only major transit agency to lose customers among the nation’s top six transit districts. San Francisco’s modal trip shares are 20 percent by transit, 24 percent by walking, 3 percent by bicycle and 53 percent by automobile. By dismantling Muni’s neighborhood networks, Prop A further encourages driving—then SFMTA penalizes drivers with more citations/ fees/ fines/ parking elimination. To move San Francisco towards the 60% transit trip shares of the world’s top transit agencies, an integrated citywide Muni system is needed. Vote No on A!

MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE: Implementation of Zurich’s Transit Priority Program

http://www.andynash.com/nash-publications/Nash2001-Zurich-PT-MTI-01-13.pdf

“Zurich is famous for the quality of its public transportation system and it has one of the highest levels of per capita transit ridership in the world. This is because its transit service is fast, frequent, reliable and inexpensive due in large part to its transit priority program.”

ENDORSEMENTS: Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods (45 neighborhood organizations), San Francisco Tomorrow, Chinese American Democratic Club, Irish American Democratic Club, District 3 Democratic Club, District 11 Democratic Club, San Francisco Green Party, San Francisco Republican Party, Log Cabin Republicans of San Francisco, Libertarian Party of San Francisco, Black Leadership Forum, San Francisco Taxpayers Association, Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund (TRANSDEF), SaveMuniSF, Bay Area Transportation Working Group (BATWG), A Better Chinatown Tomorrow (ABCT), Save North Beach Village, North Beach Tenants Committee, SF Gray Panthers, San Francisco Apartment Association, D5 Action, Eastern Neighborhoods United Front (ENUF), Judge Quentin L. Kopp (Ret., Chairman, California Senate Transportation Committee), Bruce Oka (Former SFMTA Board of Directors), Bob Planthold (Disability Advocate)…….
Vote No On A! www.NoOnTransportationBond2014.com For assistance: wongaia
Howard Wong, AIA, SaveMuniSF
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One thought on “NEW REVELATIONS and DATA: No on Prop A!

  1. The Mineta Transportation Institute takes no official positions on political campaigns. The institute is an objective research organization. No endorsement should be inferred or implied from the use of the Institute’s name in this blog.

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