On the heels of Appeal readers’ claims the MTA town hall meetings to discuss proposed service cuts and fare increases to Muni were just a sham, and reported quotes from an MTA employee that seem to confirm that assessment, the SFMTA has announced that they will be rescheduling the board meeting scheduled to vote on those cuts from Tuesday, February 16 to Friday, February 26.
In its brief on the reschedule, the Chronicle notes that “the budget balancing proposal has drawn heat from Muni regulars who don’t want to pay more for less service.” Uh, yeah. That’s one way to put it.
In the press release announcing the reschedule, MTA chief Nathaniel Ford, who did not attend either of the twon hall meetings, says the reason for the delay is because “the comments and suggestions put forth by our customers and stakeholders deserve additional review by the Agency.”
This in a week of a 9 San Bruno that hit a woman in a crosswalk, Muni Metro service paralyzed after a wire problem, a 22 Fillmore that hit a fire hydrant and flooded the area, and groundbreaking on a new, very expensive line when we can’t even keep the old ones together. (I’m sure I’m missing a few, please do add in the comments). But all that, and it’s only Thursday! Yeah, I’d probably want to hold off on that meeting, too.
I’ve pasted the entire press release below, for your reading pleasure.
SFMTA Reschedules Board of Directors Meeting from Feb. 16 to Feb. 26 to Consider Public Feedback on Budget Among other actions, Board expected to vote Feb. 26 on proposals to close FY 2010 budget deficit
San Francisco–The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates Muni, announced today that it has rescheduled its next Board of Directors meeting from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 26. The rescheduled meeting date will provide the SFMTA with additional time to evaluate the extensive public feedback on proposals to balance the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget. Close to 300 people attended the two Budget Town Hall meetings which took place in the last week; most attendees provided feedback on the budget-balancing proposals.
“These are difficult decisions and we greatly appreciate the thoughtful and constructive responses we have received,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., SFMTA Executive Director/CEO. “We know these are painful proposals, and the comments and suggestions put forth by our customers and stakeholders deserve additional review by the Agency.”
The SFMTA is proposing reduced frequencies and earlier ending times on many Muni bus routes and rail lines (as well as other cost-saving and revenue-generating solutions) to close a $16.9 million shortfall in its FY 2010 Operating Budget, which ends on June 30. Significant budget deficits are also projected for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012.
Among the other items likely to be on the Feb. 26 Board agenda is a proposal to implement a Taxi Medallion Sales Pilot Program.
The SFMTA is working to notify the public about the rescheduled Board of Directors meeting.
Updated Schedule of Public Meetings on SFMTA Budget
SFMTA Board Meetings (Room 400, City Hall)
FY 2010 Focus
Tuesday, Feb. 26 – 9 a.m. (possible Board action)
FY 2011/ FY 2012 Focus
Tuesday, March 2 – 2 p.m.
Tuesday, March 30 – 2 p.m.
Tuesday, April 6 – 2 p.m. (possible Board action)
Tuesday, April 20 – 2 p.m. (possible Board action)
SFMTA Town Hall Meetings (1 South Van Ness Ave., 2nd Floor Atrium)
FY 2011/ FY 2012 Focus
Wednesday, March 10 – 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 20 – 10 a.m.
Those who would like to comment and cannot attend one of the meetings are asked to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 311.
For additional information, please visit the SFMTA budget page: www.sfmta.com/sfmtabudget.