SAN FRANCISCO PORT AUTHORITY ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY

Monique Moyer who has made a name at San Francisco City Hall as a fiscal expert has been appointed by Gavin Newsom as Director of San Francisco Port Authority. One more woman in the line of heads of departments that the Mayor feels right to undo the wrongs done by the men of bygone days when Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. hand picked his crooked cronies.

The San Francisco Port Authorities (SFPA) has had its share of woes and right now it needs a leader with vision. I would suggest that many SFPA employees most managers should look out for jobs some where else. I could name some of them but that would not be fair.

Those who make their nest in the departments of environment and planning could take a hint and move away. The heads of these departments do not live in San Francisco and only come to the City to get their salaries. The City environs have been worse off under them.

There was a time when the State controlled all of the properties that we now call the waterfront. Then the State gave it to the City and County of San Francisco that created the SFPA in 1968. The Burton Act and Public Trust laws govern the 7.5-mile jurisdiction that the SFRA controls. At a glance there has been a lot of improvement in the areas mostly north of the Ferry Building but further south - the area is despicable. Hundreds of toxic spots and buildings in disrepair.

At the Budget hearing May 5, 2004 Aaron Peskin, Tom Ammiano, and Chris Daly were shocked to hear of how money has been wasted and unaccounted for in the SFPA budget. The movable bridge once had a price tag of about $8 million dollars - now it is more then $22 million. Again and again as with the case of the movable bridge on Islais Creek we see crooks like Catellus pushing for a hidden agenda.

Sophie Maxwell who has a poor understanding of issues will nod her head and go with the flow. It was shocking to hear how SFPA managers mention her name as one who approves a lot of the nonsense that goes around Piers 90-98.

April 30, 2004 Charlene Williams from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Docket Number HWCA2003-0108 will at last collect the fines from the infringements at Pier 92 linked to the over 20 tons of toxic soil. I had to fight the SFPA and DTSC agreed with me. The SFPA had to spend over $900,000 to do the clean up. Managers working for Department of Public Works made money of this deal.

At Pier 98 Carol Bach and her backers wanted a Living Class to be built on a toxic dump near the old, toxic spewing Hunters Point power plant. I had to fight this project and the SFPA and Literacy for Environmental Justice finally decided not to build the Living Classroom. Thousands of our children have been exposed to toxins and many Environmental Groups and higher institutions of learning have yet to speak out about this particular environmental injustice at Pier 98.

At today’s Budget Hearing mention was made of the attitude of many managers who work at the SFPA who are not fiscally responsible. This on going problem forced the City and County of San Francisco to audit the Port and find out hundreds of skeletons in the SFPA closet. Hopefully Monique Moyer will bring a change and address the concerns that are now in the open to benefit the constituents of California.

The SFPA should always remember all of its land and assets belong to Californians and that comes with some responsibility. So far for the last 8 years crooks have made deals and many projects have been given to those to do not deserve them. The Mills Corporation sticks out and so does the deals, which have gone against many City propositions on height limits, and development along the waterfront.

The SFPA Commissioners should monitor and play an important role in the happenings and projects that the SFPA embarks upon. In the last 8 years it has been a pity to see so many transparent issues decided in Close Session.

The Executive privilege should be used linked to important issues where privacy and liability may cause hardship to the SFPA. But the SFPA Commissioners in the past have used the privilege to make deals that have come to haunt them.

Today, May 5, 2004 I attended the Cruise Terminal Environmental Advisory Committee (CTEAC) meeting. It would behoove the committee to think outside the box.

The City and County of San Francisco have been harsh to the San Francisco Bay with over 180 million gallons of half-treated secondary effluents going into the Bay. It would not be fair to add to that any type of polluted water - ballast or otherwise going into the Bay.

The Cruise Terminal discusses the Air Pollution that Cruise Ships are famous for in a nonchalant manner. Cruise ships emit a certain type of toxins not found in concentration in pollution emitted by other vehicles. There fore it would be prudent for the CTEAC to focus on these toxins and regulate them. It would also be prudent to look at the commutative impacts of pollutants in and around the Cruise Terminal and address them in a constructive manner.

The distribution of the electricity within the City and County of San Francisco belongs to Pacific Gas and Electric. The CTEAC should understand the Power Flow that I made available to the SFPA. It should work towards getting Hetch Hetchy rates at the Shoreside so that Cruise Ships can avail themselves of this power. While San Francisco Public Utilities can broker a deal - PG&E can partner with the Port to make good stuff happen.

There is a $100 million bond that the SFPA can partner with the City and County of San Francisco. The SFPA has the land and the City has the money. Solar and other clean energy sources have been on the low end of the CTEAC totem pole. Missing leading environmentalists who have not been invited to the table. Missing at today’s meeting representative from San Francisco Environment and other City agencies that should be at the table. Not to mention PG&E and SF Public Utilities Commission.

Our Raw Sewage Treatment plant at the Phelps Raw Sewage Treatment in the Bayview should not take a drop of wastewater and ballast from any Cruise ships. The Port can figure out novel methods including processing wastewater at the near by Bay Raw Sewage Treatment Plant every near Pier 39.

Monique Moyer will take some weeks to settle down. After that I wish her the best. I will address the San Francisco Port Commissioners and I will speak before the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors have not been paying attention - they only make hay while the sun shines when others bring the corrupt issues to them - many a time after much damage has been done.

The SFPA has a long history. The Coast Guard and the Longshoremen among others had their origins right along the waterfront. Once ferries brought the rich and the not so rich to San Francisco from all over. The waterfront has played an important role in the history of San Francisco.

We now have the opportunity to have a first class Cruise Ship Terminal. We also have the opportunity to dredge and bring ships to Peer 96 and beyond where a lot of the Recycling products and other products can be shipped out.

Once Hunters Point was the palace where many ships were built. It is times for us to look at ships and transportation again and take advantage of the current situation. We can still give Oakland some competition after all we had the business for a long time.

We have the land and we have the money - Solar is the way to go. Many of the buildings in disrepair around Piers 70 to 78 should be attended to. Some of them are Landmarks but no one has been paying attention.

I will monitor the Environmental Issues and take the SFPA to task. So far I have won big time on Pier 92 and 98. Listen to me while the going is good - I do not give up easy and if I do my homework well, I will win every single time.

San Francisco Port Authority needs Accountability and Transparency. It now has a new Director but will that make a difference?

top - back