The Hetch Hetchy Operations. (zoom)


Commissioners of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) have NOT been truthful to the constituents when it embarked upon the Capitol Improvement Project (CIP) - more then $4 billion which will benefit the constituents from the neighboring counties more. San Franciscans will least benefit from the CIP and Hetch Hetchy upgrades.

Way back when Dianne Feinstein was the Mayor I remember Susan Leal was the Chair of the Finance Committee. At that time I also remember Supervisor Susan Leal saw nothing in dipping into the General Fund and tapping into the funds generated by Hetch Hetchy operations. Paradoxically, Commissioner Richard Sklar with connection at SFPUC at that time saw nothing in dipping and wasting Hetch Hetchy generated revenue - which went into the General Fund.

Today, SFPUC Commissioner Richard Sklar does not appreciate Public Comment. He also sees nothing wrong when he advocates raising the rate that penalizes San Franciscans because of his policies - way back when Dianne Feinstein was Mayor of San Francisco. Paradoxically, these two individuals Susan and Richard are now in the chicken coop.

Both individuals are pompous and a general investigative finding will show that these two individuals cannot be given free reign especially when they are forcing their opinions on the over $4 billion CIP. More so without discerning - without the concrete empirical data that is lacking on all segments of the CIP and Hetch Hetchy.

Paul Maaza was never consulted for the longest time ever. He was brought in very late to give his opinion on the CIP. Tony Irons has much to learn and should realize that this CIP requires highly qualified engineering skills with innovative thinking. Derrick Wong from Olivia Chen Consultants has touched on only one of many critical aspects. With the CIP in place - San Francisco will be the least to benefit from the CIP and the Hetch Hetchy improvements. This is a fact as the CIP stands now. Change orders galore will not fix the problem. The proposition to repair, replace, and maintain the whole Hetch Hetchy system passed because the constituents of San Francisco thought the system would fail in any major earthquake. The fear that such a tragedy would come soon at the heels of the 1989 earthquake tricked the constituents giving the SFPUC more power then they deserve.

As the proposition stands now the constituents have given up their right to cap any spending on the Hetch Hetchy Capitol Improvement Project. In the future the SFPUC could raise more money - as much as another $500 million or more - without any say from the constituents.

It is imperative that the voters of San Francisco place on the ballot as soon as possible - the right that restores back to the voters to have a line item say on the CIP and more on the SFPUC bond measure. Mayor Gavin Newsom has NOT been given a through briefing and the so-called SFPUC experts - speaking in generalities should comprehend that the CIP should have the best minds and a Director of SFPUC who is an Engineer.

The micro-management of Richard Sklar will fail. He has now an office at SFPUC and his presence can benefit his contacts and friends and less the on going process. Similarly Adam Werbach should be careful not to bring on board RMC and other such entities that have not met the test of a fair bid process. SFPU Commissioners should do what is right and stay away from getting and giving entities contracts.

Information should be posted on the SFPUC website regarding the latest findings linked to the CIP and Hetch Hetchy. It is right and fair that the constituents of San Francisco know what exactly is happening. We have many neighborhood groups that know next to nothing about the Capitol Improvement Project - some $ 4 billion plus.

The neighboring counties were smart to go to Sacramento and have legal language that would safeguard through time lines the over $2 billion bond measure that the counties have contributed to the CIP. Failure to meet the time lines will result in huge fines. San Franciscans have been lethargic but the time has come to wake up and attend the SFPU Commission meetings and more the Special Workshops linked to the Capitol Improvement Plan.

SFPUC has screwed all San Franciscans but more the constituents of the Southeast Sector. Without the University Mound Reservoir - Mission Bay and the Financial District would be in peril. SFPUC has not attended to the Cross Town Tunnel proposition which it chose to shelve. It has failed in its mission to remove the Phelps Raw Sewage Treatment Plant in the Bayview.

Over 70% of the over 900 miles of sewer pipes are very old and need replacement. Today, with all the technology SFPUC has no idea how much clean drinking water leaks? It has no idea how many million gallons of sewage leaks and pollutes our clean watershed. The Force Main carrying over 180 million gallons per day into the Bay has collapsed and is leaking. The list goes on. Time the SFPUC wakes up.

The heavy rains of San Francisco time and again flood certain areas. We keep building thousands of housing units and force the already aging outdated infrastructure to perform. It is a shame that SFPUC and the San Francisco Planning Department have no vision and do not care about San Francisco.

Once this land belonged to the Muwekma Ohlone before it was stolen from them. Now the SFPUC and other strangers before them have done everything to pollute the land and that includes San Francisco. Hetch Hetchy was stolen from the Miwoks and should now be restored to its former glory.

I attend the SFPUC meetings and I am appalled at the pompous attitude of some SFPU Commissioners. It is right that we be vigilant and that these few buffoons on the SFPUC be not allowed to take us for a ride. For too long have too many innocent San Franciscans be taken for a ride by a few who really have no interest serving the constituents of San Francisco. I know 3 of them on the SFPUC and will name them at the appropriate time.

SFPUC Regional Capital Projects Underway
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