In the early 1920's the filthy rich mostly White citizens of San Francisco petitioned Congress to flood the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Ansel Adams and a few others who valued Mother Nature did not want the Valley to be flooded. Congress agreed and the Raker Act was passed. Ansel died because of the flooding and a Valley he loved.
Initially $5000 was the fee that the National Park received as a fee. Later it went to $20,000 and stayed at $30,000 forever. Initially very little policing was done around the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Some 30 years ago bikers, climbers, other adventures would pollute the reservoir. The Park Rangers were called upon to patrol the area and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) paid them - recent figures quote $1.7 million.
The $1.7 million has nothing to do with the $30,000 a paltry sum that has stayed put forever.
It is right that the City and County of San Francisco and the SFPUC be mandated to pay the $8 million, which the President of the United States and the White House feels the SFPUC ought to dole out. The sooner they do it the better.
The SFPUC has about $1.6 billion dollars to play with as a result of a bond measure to repair, maintain, and replace the so-called aging Hetch Hetchy infrastructure.
Experts who are in the know quote $800,000 as too much to do the projected work that SFPUC wants $1.6 billion - yes B I L L I O N !
The other counties are pooling in another $2.6 billion making a grand total of $3.6 billion. Patricia Martel thinks she can fool all the people all the time. The time has come to get rid of the consultants most of whom will make millions for little or no work. Foremost among them Jim Jefferson.
Prime contractors like Kurt Mitchell and others who have fleeced the constituents of San Francisco continue to get huge contracts with little or no supervision, absolutely NO accountability and please forget about Transparency.
The SFPUC, Commissioners meetings are a comedy in action. The last one was a real eye opener. The vice-chair by the name of Costello openly chided a Union Representative for making deals with another union members without bringing the agreements before the Commission. Much like the Mafia who first make the deal and then report the deed.
It is right that the SFPUC pay the $8 million to the National Park Service so that Yosemite Park and the surrounding area well maintained. So that the infrastructure and dredging can be done. So that Ranger Patrol Vehicles and other sophisticated equipment and GIS gadgets can be in place. We need to safeguard our resources because the lousy inept SFPUC cannot do it.
The SFPUC does not have a position paper on clean drinking water. It does not mean because we stole the land from the Miwoks and flooded the Holy Valley that we can misuse the resources. It is a shame that today millions of gallons of clean treated drinking water are used to water lawns and wash vehicles, pathways and whatever.
San Francisco surely talks the talk but cannot walk the walk when it comes to sustainability. The San Francisco Department of Environment does not have a position paper on the uses of clean drinking water that is being misused in San Francisco and the neighboring counties. The SFPUC says that it delivers water to over 2.4 million customers daily. At ten gallons per customers on any average that makes a grand total of 240 million gallons used. But it is more like 280 million gallons.
The gods of the First People have been kind to the strangers who have always worshipped the god of GREED for which they will sell their mothers for a dollar. It is a shame in this day and age even the Congressperson and Senators who are as fake as the two inch make up they wear - continue to side with the lesser amount of rent rather then face reality. The $8 million dollar rent proposed to the SFPUC is right on target.
If all the SFPUC top management take a 25% pay reduction we can save over $8 million. The SFPUC budget is a disgraceful over $400 million budget paid to inept and uneducated employees many of whom are Managers. They wile away their time and I have seen it in person.
Receptionists send you up the 14th floor then down the 4h floor - they cannot even take simple instructions. These fools make as much as $90,000 dollars and cannot understand the fundamentals. The SFPUC is ripe with inept employees and for sure lots of fat that should be trimmed.
The Raker Act mandated that San Francisco uses the clean drinking water. Also, that we use the Electricity the City owns and which is produced at Hetch Hetchy. Today, both on the clean waterfront and the Energy front the SFPUC is a joke. Tulare gets electricity for a paltry sum while we can use it all here in San Francisco. We prefer to pay PG&E and help them out with higher rates.
For too long San Franciscans many of whom are honest and well educated have taken for granted that those managers and employees at SFPUC have their best interest - the truth is that SFPUC should never be trusted. The have failed us on every single front.
I have stated again and again that the SFPUC has done a very poor job with Raw Sewage. Over 150 million gallons of half-treated sewage goes every day into the Bay by Pier 80. I have a contact at the Phelps Raw Sewage Treatment Plant who informs me of most everything. He is white just in case the SFPUC places a noose by the workplace of all the African Americans as has happened both at the Phelps Raw Sewage Treatment Plant and the one at Ocean Beach too.
There is much that needs to be reformed and totally changed within the SFPUC. I hope the new novice Mayor does not allow Betchel to get a foothold within the SFPUC. I hope some leaders within the SFPUC are told to go elsewhere. Mostly, I hope the SFPUC takes a 25% pay cut and sets a good example. I am talking about those who make over $100,000 of which there are many.
That $8 million dollars will send a shaft up the SFPUC but it will have the best ramifications - much needed at this time in the year 2004.
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