Posts Tagged ‘Government Barometer’

Ooh, Harsh: City Attorney Dennis Herrera Throws Down – Goes After Ed Lee’s Failed Record on Infrastructure

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Turns out that our “world-class City” is ranked below Boston, New York, Oakland, San Jose, and Seattle, believe it or not. See below.

Now, just how purple do you want to see your fighting City Attorney.

Better A, as seen here?

Or B, after a little Replace Color and Shadows/Highlights?

You Make The Call.

Now, a little background and then the News of the Day. Let’s list the endnotes first for a change – they are that good:

[1] Government Barometer: August 2011, City and County of San Francisco, Office of the Controller, City Services Auditor, October 18, 2011, http://www.sfcontroller.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2581
[2] City and County of San Francisco City Survey 2011, Final Report, prepared by the ETC Institute, October 6, 2011, http://www.sfcontroller.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2573
[3] Voter Information Pamphlet, Nov. 8, 2011, Proposition B: Road Repaving and Street Safety Bonds, page 46, http://www.sfgov2.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/elections/NOV2011_VIP_EN.pdf
[4] Management Audit of the Department of Public Works, by the San Francisco Budget Analyst, January 9, 2007, http://www.sfdpw.org/ftp/uploadedfiles/sfdpw/director/DPWAuditReport.pdf

The latest from the Dennis Herrera for Mayor campaign:

“New Controller’s report confirms streets survey, audit on Ed Lee’s failed record on infrastructure

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Appointed Mayor’s decade-long mismanagement as DPW chief, City Administrator now require quarter-billion dollar streets bond to ‘finally accomplish what Ed Lee didn’t’

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 18, 2011) — City streets and public works continue to deteriorate under interim Mayor Ed Lee, according to a new report published today by the Controller’s Office, extending Lee’s decade-long record of mismanagement and neglect as the appointed bureaucrat in charge of San Francisco’s infrastructure. Today’s bimonthly Government Barometer[1] mirrors a highly critical survey released just two weeks ago that found San Francisco’s satisfaction rate with the current quality of its infrastructure to be the lowest among five benchmark cities to which it was compared. Lee’s history of lax oversight of streets, sidewalks and public works projects was also the subject of a devastating independent management audit of the Department of Public Works that the Board of Supervisors first commissioned in May 2005, while Lee was DPW director. That audit was released in 2007.

Today’s new Government Barometer identified negative trends in the City’s maintenance of streets and public works in terms of the percentage of street cleaning requests responded to within 48 hours, which have worsened both since the previous reporting period and as compared to the same period last year. A negative trend was also observed from the previous reporting period for the percentage of graffiti requests on public property responded to within 48 hours.

“For the last decade, Ed Lee did an abysmal job as the person in charge of San Francisco’s infrastructure,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “The Budget Analyst’s audit proved it in 2007; the streets survey proved it again two weeks ago, and the new Government Barometer proves it once again. Ed Lee’s record of failure is why most city streets are dirtier than ever, and in desperate need of major repairs. Now, San Franciscans need to pass a quarter-billion dollars for a streets bond, to finally accomplish what Ed Lee didn’t.”

Lee was DPW director from 2000 to 2005, and until January of this year served as City Administrator, a role whose major duties under the City Charter include coordinating capital improvement and construction projects, and appointing and removing DPW directors. As such, Lee is more responsible for the current state of San Francisco’s infrastructure than any other city official. Lee’s decade-long record contrasts starkly with his new campaign promise to be an “infrastructure mayor” who will fix San Francisco’s “roads, schools and parks.”

On October 6, 2011, the San Francisco Controller’s Office published its final report of the biennial City Survey for 2011[2], which found that:

* San Francisco had the lowest satisfaction rate with the quality of its infrastructure among five benchmark cities to which it was compared: Boston, New York, Oakland, San Jose, and Seattle.

* Overall satisfaction with San Francisco city streets, sidewalks, and infrastructure rated a woeful 31 percent, according to the survey — far below other cities. In fact, San Francisco’s rating for infrastructure was also lower than both statewide and national averages.

* San Franciscans were least satisfied with the condition of pavement citywide, with nearly 44 percent of residents grading city performance “poor/failing,” and another 38 percent describing it as merely “average.” Only 18 percent rated infrastructure “good” or better.

The new Government Barometer and streets survey from two weeks ago come as San Franciscans begin voting on a proposed $248 million bond for road repaving and street safety.[3] The nearly one-quarter-billion-dollars in new bonded indebtedness is required, according to proponents, because half of San Francisco’s 850 miles of streets — together with public structures that include bridges, tunnels, and stairways — need major repairs and upgrades.

Both the Government Barometer and streets survey also mirror a devastating independent audit of DPW that the Board of Supervisors commissioned in May 2005, while Lee was DPW chief. Even before Budget Analyst Harvey Rose’s final 269-page DPW Management Audit[4] was published in January 9, 2007, then-DPW Chief Fred Abadi responded that he “came to DPW after your audit had begun,” and that the report’s 120 recommendations “will prove useful to me as I continue to reengineer parts of the Department.” Abadi agreed and accepted all but three of the Budget Analyst’s 120 recommendations.

Among major findings of the performance audit’s of DPW under Ed Lee:

* DPW’s overall mismanagement, inefficiency and uncollected revenue combined to waste more than $5 million in taxpayer funds.

* DPW-led projects were routinely mismanaged, over-budget, and late — and city street repair projects were late by a shocking 172 days, on average.

* DPW failed to routinely track average project labor costs or productivity to ensure that Street Resurfacing and Pothole Repair Projects were completed efficiently

* DPW could not demonstrate that tax dollars being spent for street repair and maintenance (despite an amount that increased during Lee’s tenure) were spent appropriately.

* DPW allowed more than $1 million in litter fines to go uncollected.

* None of DPW’s eight bureaus fully measured performance to ensure that the bureau achieved the best possible outcomes.

* And DPW inspectors did not conduct routine inspections of streets to identify safety hazards.”