Blog » sfmta budget
- March 3, 2010BY JULIE KIM
[Despite historic shortfalls, SPUR believes the SFMTA can balance its budget without further service
cuts and fare hikes.]
Looks like SPUR's 28-point proposal to balance the Muni budget's been catching on. (We're glad, because we think it makes a lot of sense, too!)
In last Sunday's Chronicle, Rachel Gordon put current events in context by noting other significant Muni reform efforts (including SPUR campaigns in 1993, 1999 and 2007) over the last two decades. On Tuesday, the paper ran an op-ed citing SPUR's "good faith effort to advance the discussion."
In his round-up of the backlash to the MTA's proposed service cuts and fare hikes, Steve Jones of the San Francisco Bay Guardian cited SPUR Executive Director Gabriel Metcalf's call for an end to the "gamesmanship" around eliminating millions of dollars in SFPD work orders for "unspecified services." (The $12.2 million gain that could result from these cuts were the largest of any single line item in SPUR's proposal.)
By way of background: the SFMTA is projecting deficits in the $45-$56 million range for the next two fiscal years (the periods between July 1 and June 30 in 2010-11 and 2011-12). Across-the-board service cuts and fare increases (to certain categories of monthly fast passes and transfers) were on the table as cost-saving measures. Last Friday, the MTA board approved a 10 percent cut to service. At yesterday's hearing, however, no additional cuts or fare hikes were approved.
Check Streetsblog SF for the most frequent (and insightful) updates. Their team of intrepid transit reporters will undoubtedly follow this issue through to its bitter end on March 30, when the MTA board votes on whether to declare a fiscal emergency to enact the cuts.
- May 27, 2009BY DAVE SNYDER
Only five members of the Board of Supervisors today voted to reject the SFMTA budget, two short of the supermajority of seven needed to reject it.
The supermajority requirement was put in the City Charter by Proposition A and Proposition E (both in part crafted by SPUR) to create a balance between the need to defend the SFMTA from political influence and give the city's elected leaders a chance to reject the budget if it seriously misrepresents their values.
In the current budget debate, where the Supervisors were asked to approve a replacement 2009-2010 budget to deal with $129 million in cuts (fully 1/6 of the budget), it is no surprise the Supervisors came closer to rejecting the budget than they ever have since Proposition E passed. SPUR initially supported the motion to reject the budget. Some changes since that time improved the budget and SPUR sat out the debate during the second round.
Cutting 1/6 of the budget was bound to be unpopular. While SPUR doesn't agree with every aspect of the SFMTA budget (what independent government watchdog would?), we do credit SFMTA executive director Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr. and his team for proposing a budget that avoided the worst possible cuts. We will work with the SFMTA as they continue to adjust their budget and prepare for the 2010-12 budget proposal.
Click here for SPUR's proposals for an improved SFMTA budget.