SFPUC CHANGES PLANS IN MIDSTREAM
Once again San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) with Richard Sklar now at the helm of affairs has decided to change the course of the plan and is trying to configure how best to attain the SFPUC goal. SFPUC wants all the money they can get.
The Capital Improve Project (CIP) will now be titled Water System Improvements Plan (WSIP) and the purpose will be to meet the level of service goals for seismic and delivery reliability of drinking water.
There have been several articles in the media and none of them favor the current SFPUC decision making. The SFPUC is walking in a dark tunnel with no light but some remote sense of trying to reach light and with no direction. There also seems to be lack of oxygen in the tunnel of despair.
Over 2.4 million customers are waiting for some good news and the SFPUC is trying their best to say something. The most recent news is that the SFPUC wants more money. It says that no money was set aside for the Environmental Impact Reports and that a false sense of evaluation was done of the whole Hetch Hetchy system. Pat Martel and Bechtel Corporation - did the SFPUC in with false estimates.
We did have five workshops each one gave us some sense of how vulnerable the Hetch Hetchy system is. I mostly focus on the Calavares Dam and Irvington Tunnel. For some strange reason I see these two vulnerable points causing the whole system the most damage and forcing us all into an emergency system the like we have not seen in our life time.
Art Jensen is always there to bring some sense when the train goes off track. He has been managing the operations and evaluating the system for many years. He also is very practical and can review figures with an eye that brings reason to the table. There are others too that want to express themselves but are afraid of Susan Leal and the now hawkish Richard Sklar who talks too much. When Art Jensen recently pointed to everyone some mistakes in the mathematics - Bill Carlin was quick to admit that he had overlooked the math but Richard Sklar went on the defensive and it is this attitude that will bring the demise of good ideas and set back the goals.
The three main project Clean Drinking Water, WasteWater, and Electricity all demand good ideas with a vision. We cannot have buffoons trying to figure out what to do and making changes even as the plans are taking shape. We cannot have leaders blaming past leaders and forgetting that they are paid to go the job. $300,000 is a lot of money to pay someone who has no idea about tunnels and less of dams that are seismically prone to an earthquake any minute now.
The constituents of San Francisco have been taken for a ride these many years by so called deferred maintenance. Right now some changes are made to make up the repair and maintenance but one just cannot bring about this change overnight. SFPUC may have the money but SFPUC does not have the person power nor the ability to achieve any of their goals in a timely manner when is comes to quality maintenance, repair and replacement.
In the mean time we now have 6 Deputy General Managers - once we had only two. Around the Deputy General Managers you have circle of friends mostly inept and trying to figure out what a circle is and round and round they go. Ed Smeloff was fired and his loss will come to haunt the fools. Now they want to get rid of Swartz - imagine telling the man to apply for his old job. These women can be mean and evil and what is more -cruel.
The few men who have no balls keep taking orders and making fools of them. It is all about fiscal health and in two years the ability to click and make things happen will really be tested. The fiscal constraints will reach the peak - and the genuine leaders will have to rise to the occasion.
Nothing much has been done in recent weeks and months except praising each other and telling the world that all is well. Remember when one is afraid of the unknown the tendency is to say everything is fine. The show has not begun and the fat lady will start to sing soon. Tony Irons and Bill Carlin want their jobs. Tony is cool riding the carousel with Susan moving the whole thing in the wrong direction. Bill Carlin cannot yet figure out what to make of the woman who can ditch anyone woman or man - when her gut feeling suddenly compels her to bewitch that which no decent man will touch.