San Francisco Budget Cuts; More on Eliseo Medina …

by on May 28, 2010

To the Editor:

The assertion that non profits receive only a few hundred thousand dollars from city contracts per year, is patently false. Non profits receive millions of dollars annually from the city, without any oversight or transparency. Your readers should review the Good, Bad, and the Ugly, a Civil Grand Jury Report of 2008. If non profits seek additional revenue sources, they need to be part of the solution to the City’s most vulnerable, rather than acting likes Pigs at the Trough!

Tomas Picarello
San Francisco

PAUL HOGARTH REPLIES: In the context of my story, I meant to say that many non-profits facing budget cuts only get about a few hundred thousand dollars from the City. And if you look at specific cut proposals, you see a lot of $200,000 cuts. Of course, it’s true that collectively we’re talking about a few million dollars — and it’s also true that some non-profits get well over $1 million in contracts. But in the context of a $6.6 BILLION budget, they provide a vital service at a tiny fraction of the City’s resources.

To the Editor:

Great article. I’ve been investigating how the City’s Arts grant dollars are being effected: the staff is being protected 100% — there are no dollars cut from administration — all cuts are coming from the grants programs. In other words, the cuts are not being shared equally — the bureaucrats whose only reason for existence is to serve the artists and the community are getting salary increases, and low-income artists and communities are absorbing all the cuts. The City supports the salaries of 2 bloated arts agencies who duplicate functions — the SF Arts Commission and the Grants for the Arts program. The Cultural Affairs Task Force (2007-08) called for the merger of these two bureaucracies as a cost saving measure. Instead, all cuts are being made in cultural services.

Jeff Jones
Pacifica, CA

To the Editor:

In all the arguments and analysis of how to provide City services during financial belt-tightening, not a word is mentioned about the horrendous waste of resources and inefficiencies. One of the most egregious is some of the outlandish salaries, such as over $500,000 for San Francisco police chief. The chief makes more than the President of the United States, and our own Mayor. It has already been proven that paying high salaries does not translate into high performance. Please note our current financial mess by high paid corporate CEO’S.

Denise D’Anne
San Francisco

Ed. Note: In 2009, only one City employee made over $500,000 – and it was not the Police Chief (it was a Deputy Police Chief who retired and got a windfall payment.) The highest salaried City employee is MTA Chief Nat Ford, who makes $354,000. Data for the Police Chief in 2009 is hard to ascertain, because of the transition (Heather Fong and George Gascon did not work for the entire year) – but in 2008, Fong made $275,000. That salary is indeed higher than the Mayor’s ($250,000), but it is not higher than the President of the United States ($400,000.) Nevertheless, the point of the author’s argument is valid and well taken.

To the Editor:

Mr. Eliseo Medina abandoned his “union progressive roots” because he joined Andy Stern’s SEIU trying to grab power within the American labor movement. Medina is no comparison to Dolores Huerta’s commitment fighting for workers’ rights and socio-economic justice because the latter is a hero of her own kind. Medina is an opportunist!

Andres Bonifacio
San Francisco

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