Friday, May 8, 2009

These Are Newsom's Cuts

I brought up this quote from our mayor before because I was appalled that he could really be so short on ideas for balancing Muni's budget:
I hate the idea of raising fares. I don't want to cut Muni service. But I ask (critics), 'What ideas do you have that do not eviscerate public safety and health and human services?' -Gavin Newsom (via SF Chronicle)
But the more I think if it the more shocked I am that he's so brazenly trying to make this connection.

His threat is probably effective, nobody wants to cut health or public safety programs. But it raises the question: why should Muni's budget and potential fare increases/service cuts affect health or public safety?

They shouldn't!

In that sentence Gavin Newsom is saying that the SFMTA has a responsibity to fund other departments. Two successful ballot measures which specifically and repeatedly increased the independence of Muni's budget and Mr. Newsom wants us to act like that never happened.

HHS and the Police Department have their own budgets with their own sources of revenue. Those budgets, it should be noted, were cut by Newsom and not by Nat Ford or David Chiu. Newsom eviscerated public safety and health and human services and wants to pass the blame onto anyone who tries to stop the SFMTA from absorbing those cuts.

The work-order-shuffle is a shady move to begin with, and when Chiu, Bevan Dufty and others questioned it Newsom, Ford and the SFMTA board should have been ashamed they let it happen. Instead, he's openly justifying it as a way to offset the cuts he forced on departments whose budgets he apparently thinks should never be cut...

What's going on here?

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