Long-Serving SFPUC, SFMTA Board Member Passes Away

A long-serving member of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and then the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors has died, city officials said Tuesday.

Welton Flynn joined the SFPUC, which oversaw Muni at the time, in 1970 as the first African-American to be appointed to a San Francisco city commission, and served in the post until 1991.

Then-Mayor Willie Brown then appointed Flynn to the city’s Public Transportation Commission in 1996 and he became the first chairman of the newly created SFMTA board in 2000, according to city officials.

During his tenure, which spanned five mayors, Flynn oversaw the introduction of transit passes, Muni Metro subway service, the Third Street light-rail project, and established one of the first programs of its kind in the nation that gave contracting opportunities to women and minorities, city officials said.

Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement that Flynn’s “leadership and dedication represented the best in public service.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a former San Francisco mayor, said in a statement that “Welton was a good friend and distinguished commissioner while I was mayor. I came to lean on him, rely on his counsel, and valued his contributions greatly.”

Brown, another former mayor, said Flynn “was the choice of so many mayors because he had integrity and the sensibilities necessary to do the work.”

In honor of Flynn, Mayor Lee ordered the flags at City Hall and at all SFMTA facilities to be flown at half-staff until sunset Tuesday.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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