tv [untitled] October 31, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
street at third and fourth street are so packed most of the day, even though it does not seem to relieve the overcrowding situation. the intersections -- they are always built up with vehicles, including a long line of buses. they cause congestions, delays, and dirty air along market street between second and fifth. transportation passengers under crown not only help citizens to and from chinatown and north beach, it also improves traffic conditions downtown and brings a greater environment. it is the most effective way to transport a large number of passengers in a world-class city like san francisco. we need that as soon as possible. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you.
next speaker please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am here today to reiterate our support. we have supported the central subway since the beginning. reason being back the connectivity it is providing in our transit first city, and it is the same reason why we are supporting it today. we are well aware of the mta strategy as was pointed out in the findings of the grand jury report, but i cannot agree more with what one of the speakers have said -- the challenges should not prevent us from moving forward into the future. my group finds some of the findings -- we can not suspend them. by december 30, we talk about the lack of communication.
the experience of my group in the last 10 years was every time we had called for additional answers for any questions, we have always received responses from central subway promptly. our members have been attending meetings religiously, and we just felt that we have gotten so much information. sometimes, we are overwhelmed with information. we are particularly disturbed with finding 28, talking about how the central subway is only a benefit to chinatown. i do not see any effect to support that. it is really astounding as now the public is seeing this project as a chinatown subway. it is mindboggling for how they came to the conclusion. i think in the end, the recommendation of the civil grand jury -- we have the
process in this town, and i think the public process has spoken for itself. supervisor campos: thank you. the speaker please. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i would like to speak in strong support of the central subway project and in support of the their response by the mta. the extension is a critical component of the system's longrange vision to deal with san francisco's projected growth and to ensure that it is well- served by a strong transit network. it would be a mistake to believe that the benefits of the central subway are limited to just the 1.7-mile extension area.
the residents that the project directly affects them as well and are looking forward to seeing it finally move forward and move on to phase 3 after that. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker. >> i just wanted to show you this old picture from the past. it is an old city train, how we have changed over the years. i am not sure where the area is. ♪ won't you make it turn out all right on the city's downtown subway train all your change
falls like rain on the new subway downtown train won't you make it turned out right make it turned out great and finish it by that date and make it not too late and will i see it denied i will make the subway turn out right i will make it turned out great finish it by that date make it turned out the best i can hardly wait put a new subway downtown train ♪ supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker. >> thank you, supervisors. i am is representative for the operating engineers local union, and we will be representing the guys who operate the machine. just to allay the german's
concerns, it will be a pressure balance concern, and the face of the tunnel will be pressurized with minimal impact on the workers and the integrity of the tunnel. delays for the project at this time are unreasonable. i have liveded are around the world in london, new york, paris, all cities with great subway systems. it is what this city needs. it is only going to get more expensive. i do not know where the opposition have been, but everything is going up, and the longer we wait, the more expensive it will get. and the city -- it is the economic powerhouse of northern california leading us out of this recession. this project means thousands of quality jobs going up in chinatown and north beach. i like to go over there with my kids. it is really difficult right now to park. all the mechanisms are in place to monetize and manage the
project -- a monitor and manage the project. there is no reason to hold it up at this time. the report talks about increased costs. the longer we wait, the more expensive it is going to get. supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker. >> the transportation solution's defense and education fund. we are transit advocates working primarily on the regional and statewide level. we have opposed the central subway for years because instead of being a well-designed, cost- effective transportation project, it is primarily a political payoff. the grand jury deserves the thanks of all san franciscans for their willingness to dive into an incredibly dense thicket of details and their courage to
call a spade a spade. their report is a crowd addition to the long tradition of speaking truth to power. the fundamental project design problems raised in the report are so serious that they necessitate a response from the board on recommendations 16 through 20. even though you were not specifically requested to. if the board ignores these recommendations, it will send a strong message of "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil." the questions about the project were asked and answered, but the answers were so steeped in politics as to be worthless. the grand jury is telling your board that the emperor has no clothes. future generations will remember you as the board member that ignored their message and put muni into an extended fiscal
crisis. supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker please. >> hello, supervisors. i was not planning on speaking, but i had to. i think i am really concerned about the way this is being pitched. working in south of market for the past decade, you know, i have actually been opposed to many people in this room, including supporters of the central subway because of the development pressures on the south of market community. south of market has seen fit the% of of development in san francisco every year for the past 15 years. this is the first infrastructure project that has come for the residents of the neighborhood. -- south of market has seen 50% of the development in san francisco every year. the t rail -- i remember when
this came across. i was not in support of it. i did not connect to anything. it goes around the waterfront like a scenic route that is going to be slow. i was always supportive of basic muni subway across the areas, and i understand that we need to connect these with larger divisions in the future. i would like to see something on folsom st.. we have connected with something there. these are the steps you have to put in place. as far as the recommendations you have in front of you, i would say that, yes, muni should be free. i believe in that. i am not a driver. i believe we should work on this interest and at the minimum, look at passing a resolution to make sure we do not lose services in terms of the 30 and 45 because that was promised. but this is a different subject about infrastructure for soma. supervisor campos: thank you.
next speaker. it there is any member of the public who has not spoken on this item would like to speak, please come forward. >> thank you. i rely solely on muni, and i am concern about the project's impact on service across the entire system. perhaps supervisor farrell has misplace the location of where mission bay is located. gao was required to hold the hearing today in response to the grand jury. they would be doing a great disservice if it does not audit and hold a separate hearing on the cost overruns for the central subway project. since the cost overruns will come from the general fund. gao should order an independent agency, not the controller cfa audit function. to audit this project focusing on change orders that have occurred today. as i narrow some design omissions on the rebuild,
resulted -- design errors and some design omissions on the rebuild resulted in more money spent on the project. as mr. reiskin, then director of dpw must have known, since they track of change orders. they have done next to nothing monitoring change orders. gao short order them to aggressively monitor change orders on this and all other capital improvement projects. if an independent audit reveals cost overruns from the central subway, the city family running city hall, including this subcommittee, will be remiss if it does not cancel this boondoggle immediately. before this project bankrupt's the general fund puts a discretionary budget. this committee should prohibit by ordinance use of certificates of participation on any central subway project cost overrun.
thank you. supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. operating engineers local 3. i am in support of this project and, you know, the words of the mta definitely out ways the words of the civil grand jury -- definitely out way -- definitely outweigh the words of the civil grand jury appeared to pose on something of this magnitude would be an insult of the intelligent minds that put something like this together. i think it is important that people need to see that once a plan has started, we need to move forward. we need to keep it going because that is the way it should be. i appreciate your time. i am a fifth generation san franciscan, and everything needs to move on to support the people
who need to be working, who need to have jobs, and to keep it going. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i am in support of the project. i do not agree with the grand jury. it is a much-needed transportation project that connects several communities. it does not have to be next door. it can be walking distance. it is a benefit for everybody. it is also going to spark the economy. we need that. please support it. supervisor campos: thank you. is there any other member of the public would like to speak, including a member of the public in the overflow room? >> good afternoon, mr. chair, supervisors.
president of the coalition for san francisco neighborhoods, 46 neighborhood organizations across the city. in november, 2009, we heard the pro and con speak on the central subway and that time voted overwhelmingly to oppose it as it is currently configured. at the present time, i am speaking to findings 26 and 30 of the civil grand jury report, the direct connectivity will be eliminated by the central subway alignment and transfer between union square, market street station and the helm street station is terrible. it is an unreasonably long walk, especially for the elderly and disabled. these two items are especially egregious to neighborhood
people, and we would like to draw your attention to those. it also, after the civil grand jury report was developed and turn in, we would also like to draw your attention to the development that, which is manifest at the present time in the central corridor developers and speculators buying up a half mile on stockton going into the central subway. one of the things that has happened in other large municipalities has been a ring around different municipalities in chinatown that have completely changed the character of that chinatown because it is all high-rises and large developments. thank you so much. supervisor campos: thank you. is there any other member of the public who has not spoken who
would like to speak? seeing none, public comment is closed. thank you again to the civil grand jury for their presentation. thank you to the mta, the county transportation authority, the mayor's office, and especially to members of the public who have been waiting to speak on this item. i think it was a very substantive discussion, and we appreciate everyone's input on this very important issue. the one thing i will say, something that was said during public comment was criticism of the civil grand jury and the civil grand jury process, and i will strongly, emphatically disagree with that because i think there is a tremendous benefit that comes from private citizens looking at issues like the central subway. in the end, whether you agree or disagree with the findings, i think we are all better serve when there is that level of transparency and discussion, and
while i remain supportive of the project, i think there are a number of things in the civil grand jury report that are very useful and very helpful. the other, and i will make is that i believe that you can be supportive of a project but still make sure that you maintain a critical eye in how the implementation happens, and that will continue to be my position in terms of making sure that as this project goes forward, that it is done in the most cost effective and the most efficient way possible. to that end, one of the things that my office did last year is that we asked for a performance audit of the mta. the second phase of that audit is about to be completed. the performance of it looks at how the mta manages capital projects, including the central subway. to the extent that that issue was raised, that is something that actually has already been
looked into, and there will be an opportunity for us to look more directly into that. again, thank you. with that, i will turn it over to president chiu. supervisor chiu: i also want to thank everyone who has been so focused on the central subway in recent years and i want to thank the civil grand jury for the work they have done, although i am sure it is not a surprise that i differ with regards to the conclusion. i want to again state -- say a few words on my perspective on this. the reason i sponsored the resolution some weeks back to reiterate the unanimous support for the board on this has to do with my perspective that no great city ever regrets building a subway. i think that great cities regret not building subways. we have heard the concerns that have been raised for many years. in fact, often during the, i think, 350 community meetings we have had over 20 years, and i do
think that the issues have been raised, asked, and answered. the fact of the matter is the neighborhoods that the central subway is going in to represent the densest neighborhoods in the west coast. the opportunity to actually build the first major north/south access in 50 years is very exciting. while there are many neighborhoods that will be impacted, we are talking about the moscow center, which attracts millions of tourist and convention visitors every year. we are talking about union square, which is where the entire bay area comes to shop, and we are talking about chinatown, one of the oldest communities in san francisco that also attract many of our 16 million visitors every year and that also happens to be the locale where our muni buses currently travel at 2 miles an hour. much has been said about the billion dollars we will lose if we do not do this project, the 30,000 jobs we will lose, the fact that this project at the highest rating in the country,
but again, all that being said, i do think that the discussion, as always, is healthy, but i do think at some point, we have got to move on. we have got to move this project forward, and with that, obviously, i think i speak on behalf of many of my colleagues in wanting to do that. that said, we do have a resolution in front of us. i am curious to hear from our colleagues what people would like to do on the resolution that does not specifically address the project but deals with muni management and finance issues, and i would like to hear from my colleague, supervisor farrell. supervisor farrell: fax, and i want to thank everyone for coming out today, and i want to echo the comments of both of my colleagues up here -- thanks, and i want to thank everyone for coming out. want to thank the grand jury for their work. we topically disagree with the project itself, but just a few comments -- one, i was surprised and a little bit disappointed in our report when the resolution
in front of us has nothing to do with >> it is what is in front of us and what we will vote on in a second. in terms of the mta, i was surprised on some of their responses. i know that ed has only been there for a short amount of time. i thought it was very enlightening, the presentation. and also a caution to members of the grand jury on your report. and making sure that they are factual as well. we have looked at the location of certain companies, you don't knowledge of the fact that this is phase two of the line.
it is getting to be a controversial topic at that point in time. with the findings and recommendations in front of us, and i would vote yes or support a motion with the exception of recommendation number four. supervisor campos: that is a motion by supervisor farrell. we don't need a second. president chiu, any comments? president chiu: i am happy to second that, the only comment i would make is in regard to 3,
lowering expectations from muni's performance. the mta could find a more. i would set that as an amendment to the recommendation. supervisor campos: i will be supporting that motion. what this does is highlight the fact that even when you may not agree with some of the specific findings, there are parts of that report back and be very useful. and the things that we are agreeing to are finding that deal with the adequacy of the service that is being provided by the mta, recognizing the financial problems that the mta
as the system faces. i think that those kinds of findings and some of the recommendations being made our recommendations that would be wise to pay attention to. i would also echo comments with respect to the response. i thought the illustration by the civil grand jury said a lot, because the statement in response from the mta was not something that provided a lot of information other than some sort of conclusory remarks. i know that he is working very hard to work at some of these issues that there is an honest
assessment. if we can take that without objection. >> i just want to confirm the your agreeing with the findings and recommendations, it is what you agree with. supervisor campos: we are agreeing with findings 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, and 12. we are agreeing with every recommendation except for recommendation no. 4. thank you. motion passes. thank you for coming out.
thank you for your work. please call the next two items together. >> item number four, hearing on the 2010-2011 civil grand jury report entitled "whistling in the darkly " the san francisco whistleblower program. on the findings and recommendations contained. supervisor campos: if i may ask for, as people are exiting, to quietly exit so we can proceed with the rest of the business before the committee. sorry for the interruption. >> item 5, responding to the findings and recommendations in the 2010-2011 "whistling in the dark," a whistle-blower
program. >> first of all, before i introduce this report, i want to thank you for your comments on the relevance of the grand jury. the gentleman that made that comment, my blood started a boil and it was difficult for me to sit there quietly. clearly what happened here today is an example of the relevance of the civil grand jury. the fact that there was a lively discussion on both sides, people could disagree na, and respectful manner, it is what the civil grand jury was meant to be. the jury wrote a report entitled "the sleeping watchdog.
to present the report is the chair of that committee. thank you. i wanted to make one little correction, it was the sleeping watchdog. i had the honor of serving on the 2010-2011 civil grand jury with 18 other san franciscans that deeply care about this city. i want to start out by saying that the concept of open government is an encompassing term for various things such as increased transparency,