Earlier this week, we encouraged you to attend Tuesday’s MTA “town hall” meeting to discuss Muni’s proposed fare hikes and service cuts, despite the fact that very few Muni officials attended an earlier meeting on the same topic.

Appeal commenters expressed skepticism that public comment from the meetings could actually influence decisions made by MTA officials regarding said cuts, with some going as far to say that the meetings were “entirely for show.”

Well, MTA official turnout was definitely better for Tuesday’s town hall meeting (which was not recorded by SFGTV, so we sadly cannot help you relive the moment). According to MTA spokesperson Judson True, True, MTA project manager Julie Kirschbaum (both of whom attended the Saturday meeting) and assorted colleagues (including senior
managers)” were there, as well as MTA board member Bruce Oka.

However, several attendees say that a MTA employee — described by one as a “tall, slender Asian man,” who was said by another to be “handing out the big ‘what’s going to be changed’ route charts as well as forms to sign up to speak”* — told one that “the decisions have already been made, this is just a chance for you to tell us what you think,” another that “we would be able to speak but that all decisions had already been made,” and a third that “and “all the decisions have been already, this is just your chance to vent.”

We emailed True yesterday afternoon, asking if these attendees had misunderstood this MTA employee — or, had all the decisions about what cuts/increases will be presented to the MTA board on their next meeting on February 16 already been made? He has not responded to our email.

*another reader identified the man as Board member Oka, but we’re relatively certain, from other descriptions we received, that the person in question was not Oka.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!