Supes Take On MTA Budget; Charter Amendment Moves Ahead

by Paul Hogarth on May 20, 2010

Just like last week, the agenda for today’s Board of Supervisors’ Budget Committee has a motion to reject the Muni budget which includes 10% service cuts. And once again, the Supervisors will hesitate – because nothing requires the Mayor’s MTA Board to submit a revised budget. Meanwhile, Supervisor Sean Eslbernd is circulating signatures for a Charter Amendment that would tighten work rules for bus drivers. Backing up Elsbernd’s claim, a report by the Controller shows that 46% of all the City’s overtime budget comes from the MTA – far outstripping the Fire and Police Departments.

But a solution to Muni’s mess must be a comprehensive package. Supervisors David Campos and Ross Mirkarimi have filed their Charter Amendment – which calls for split appointments to the MTA Board, require the MTA to submit a new budget if the Supervisors reject it and increase Muni’s set-aside to bring in an extra $40 million. Both Charter Amendments would remove the guarantee that Muni drivers get at least the second-highest salaries in the nation, which has made it impossible to get the kind of union concessions other City employees agreed to. But neither measure can be voted on before November, as we face Muni problems today.

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