Whether or not he’s California’s next lieutenant governor and sticks around to hang with you, Gavin Newsom wants you — yes, you, be ye rider or driver, blogger or bike nut — to be the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s next director.
All you have to do is e-mail him.
Newsom issued a clarion call for applications on Thursday, urging folks “with strong opinions” on transit to e-mail him an application (sorry, edd benefits form filler-outers: it’s a volunteer position and unpaid, so this won’t count as looking for a job). “It’s firstname.lastname@example.org,” Newsom reminded a room packed full of media, all of whom staggered at how easy it’s been, all this time, to get hold of the Mayor. If only we’d known!
The mayor didn’t say why he’s choosing to go this unusual route, considering he’s never done it before and has a staff member whose job it is to do just this, sift through stacks of resumes to find someone willing to listen to hours of public comment for free.
But he won’t take just anyone — Newsom warned off any and all mere rabble-rousers or knockers-over of tables; he wants folks who have “solutions, not just critiques” of transit and transit policy to sit in Room 400 of City Hall.
“It could be someone with a strong labor background, it could be someone with a strong management background, it could be someone with strong opinions as a frequent rider of our system,” said the mayor, whittling down the short list to about 700,000 people.
Whomever is selected will serve a four-year term on the seven-member board (although The Appeal should note there is a ballot proposition in the works that would allow the Board and also the general public to choose MTA directors, a power currently enjoyed only by the mayor), and fill one of two seats which could potentially open in coming months (The Appeal believes it’s Chairman Tom Nolan and former chairman Dr. James McCray, Jr; but as usual we asked the powers that be and will tell you what they say). Update: it is in fact vice chair McCray and labor advocate Shirley Breyer-Black, whose stare can geld a yak.
Photo: Matt Baume for The Appeal