munipiece2.jpgEven though Mayor Newsom has still hasn’t named his two appointments to the SF MTA Board, the partial board was able to gather enough members to meet this month and to get a controversial and previously-attempted tax for commercial off-street parking in front of SF voters this November.But what’s holding up his appointments to the group charged with overseeing things like Muni, parking, and bikes, the ones that were promised over a month ago?

No one seems to know for sure, though some have suggested that the lackluster interviewing process might be at least partially to blame.

Streetsblog was told to expect the appointments the week of May 25th, and in an email sent to the Appeal on Friday, May 28, mayoral spokesperson Tony Winnicker said the appointments would be named this week.

After that, Winnicker reminds us, the appointments will have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors. In an email sent to the Appeal on May 18, when we asked him if the delay in appointments was a reason the last Board meeting was canceled, he noted that “even when nominated, the Board has confirmation over all appointments so it’s unlikely even if we had nominated they would have confirmed by (the May 18 MTA Board meeting). It’s clear from their charter amendment introduced (May 18) their main interest is power and control over Muni. They already have confirmation power over every one of the Mayor’s appointments, now they want outright control.”

But, as noted, the Board was able to meet yesterday, and here’s what they did:

Taxing situation for Muni quips the Chronicle, saying that the Board voted 4-1 Tuesday to urge Supes to place a proposition on the November ballot raising “the tax on commercial off-street parking from 25 percent to 35 percent. The tax hike would raise an estimated $20 million a year to help fund Muni.”

SFMTA Board Urges Board of Supervisors to Put Revenue Measure on Ballot says a less jocular Streetsblog, which says that the tax would actually only net Muni $16 million, not $20, but could help avoid future service cuts. Streetsblog also notes (scroll down) that the MTA approved a temporary solution for that Arco station at Divis and Fell that always had cars hanging out on the street is an especially hazardous way.
Parking-tax hike back on the table The Examiner points out that the same proposed parking tax ballot measure “failed miserably four years ago” and that Tim Leonoudakis, the CEO of local parking managers City Park, is predictably pissed about the proposal.

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

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