Cleanup wizard in a messy scandal / DPW aide has faced string of complaints

By Lance Williams, Mark Fainaru-Wada, Chronicle Staff Writers : sfgate – excerpt

He transformed a tiny San Francisco gardening co-op into a national model for urban job-training programs. Then he emerged as City Hall’s point man in a high-profile war on grime and graffiti.

But almost from the day in 2000 when he became an executive in the city Department of Public Works, there were complaints about how Mohammed Nuru, the dynamic protégé of then-Mayor Willie Brown, conducted the public’s business.

Nuru has emerged as a central figure in a City Hall scandal involving alleged voting improprieties in the December runoff election won by Mayor Gavin Newsom. But according to public records and interviews, Nuru has been the subject of repeated complaints about alleged mishandling of taxpayers’ funds.

Some staffers complained that Nuru, paid $150,867 a year, bent civil service rules to replace city workers with trainees from the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners, or SLUG, the nonprofit he formerly ran...(more)

CVP and Livable CA file Petition for Writ of Mandate against ABAG for Brown Act violations

Posted by: Bob Silvestri marinpost – excerpt

On April 17, 2019, Community Venture Partners and Livable California filed a “Demand letter to cure or correct Brown Act violations at the January 17, 2019 ABAG E… more »

On April 17, 2019, Community Venture Partners and Livable California filed a “Demand letter to cure or correct Brown Act violations at the January 17, 2019 ABAG Executive Board meeting” (click on the highlighted text to read the full document). Based on the facts and circumstances described in that letter, CVP and LC alleged that the ABAG Board’s vote to endorse the CASA Compact was illegal and therefore null and void.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR PETITION FOR WRIT

The full explanation and backstory on why the cease and desist was filed is found in Livable California / CVP’s cease & desist letter with ABAG Board for Brown Act violations, Marin Post, April 18, 2019.

The Board of Directors responded to our letter through Deputy General Counsel Cynthia E. Segal, at the end of the very last day they were legally required to do so.

In her letter, she adamantly denied that ABAG violated the Brown Act, even though the violation was clearly captured on videotape, and that ABAG refused to cure the violation or to take any “remedial action’ whatsoever. She went on to suggest that agencies are allowed to violate the Brown Act so long as they can show that no one was “prejudiced” by their violation. And finally, the violation doesn’t count if it’s not “willful” or “deliberate.” In other words, if they broke the law by mistake or even on purpose with some rationale, it doesn’t count.

I’m going to try to remember these arguments the next time I get a speeding ticket.

In any case, as noted in our April 18th article, what is so unusual here is that in 2013, the California State Legislature enacted SB 751, which was signed by Governor Brown to address this exact same violation by ABAG. That legislation, which amended the Brown Act, contained very, specific language. Effective on January 1, 2014, Government Code § 54953(c)(2) states,

The legislative body of a local agency shall publicly report any action taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present for the action… (more)

The only oversight the regional agencies seem to have is citizen oversight. The citizens are claiming a violation of the Brown Act.

SF seizes homeless people’s property — and they rarely get it back

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt (includes video links)

Stunning new videos document how the cops and DPW are failing to follow even their own rules as tents, medicine, and personal belongings wind up in the trash.

An advocacy group for homeless people has just released a stunning set of videos that demonstrate how police and city workers are taking away – and never returning – the property of homeless people, in violation of local rules…

The former [DPW] worker is, of course, anonymous, but SF Weekly’s Nuala Sawyer confirmed that the person was, indeed, a DPW employee…

The site, stolenbelonging.org, includes a remarkable video of what happens when a homeless person tries to go to the DPW lot and reclaim her possessions…(more)

Rules Committee Approves Rent Board Member With Veritas Link

By Ida Mojadad : sfweekly – excerpt

The newest commissioner faced scrutiny for his connection to San Francisco’s biggest landlord.

A Rent Board member with a connection to San Francisco’s largest landlord is poised to keep his voting power with approval from the Board of Supervisors.

After initial skepticism, the Rules Committee on Monday recommended approving David Wasserman to keep his seat on the Rent Board. This comes after tenant advocates scrutinized his law firm, Wasserman Stern, which shares the same name as an attorney who represents mega-landlord and frequent board visitor, Veritas Investments. The firms are separate in every sense, save for the name and roof they share, Wasserman told the supervisors…(more)

 

 

Random Access – 3 Mayors Discuss Affordable Housing and Traffic Concerns

Video and comments By Sunnyvale City Council Member, Michael S. Goldman

A 15 minute round-table with: Mayor Lynette Lee Eng of Los Altos, Mayor Eric Filseth of Palo Alto, and Mayor Steven Scharf of Cupertino.

“City bankruptcies, deteriorating public services as funds are drained from cities trying to cope with increased demands by new construction. That will be CASA’s main impacts. See a transcript on Michael’s site: https://meetingthetwain.blogspot.com/2019/03/three-mayors-on-silicon-valley-housing.html

Thanks to these Mayors for their frank discussion on what many consider to be overlooked considerations that were not addressed adequately by the SF Bay Area regional planners who concocted the CASA Compact. Forcing more up-zoning on landfill that is sinking under the tall towers already built, is a losing proposition. How many people want to throw more money at the Joint Powers Authority that designed and built the closed, failing Transbay Terminal?

Potrero Bus Yard Project meetings turn up many suggestions, little consensus

By Gisela Pérez de Acha and Julian Mark : missionlocal – excerpt

After four public meetings on a development project that could add nearly 1,000 new units atop the Potrero Bus Yard, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will review the comments from the 100 or so people who attended the gatherings and try “to figure out consistency and trends, if they exist,” said Licina Iberri, one of the planning managers.

The project, now in the planning stages, seeks to not only upgrade the 100-year old bus and Muni transportation facility but to add as many as 900 new units – at least 25 percent affordable – as well as add ground floor retail space. The market rate housing would help finance the project(more)

Projects like these, that are opposed by the public, are forcing many people to leave San Francisco and the state. New figures on population exits from Silicon Valley are showing zero population growth. We don’t need more houses in the pipeline when there are already over 40,000 NOT being built. SFMTA staff is supposed to run the Muni not build future housing for non-existent residents.

If SFMTA staff managing the Muni system they would not have time to develop 1,000 market rate units and they would not need the money to support the Muni system if they quit tearing up the streets.

SFMTA staff who do not want to manage the Muni system, but prefer to design the future are in the wrong business. Voters should loudly oppose all future development projects that are built to hold investor dollars and add to the cost of living in this city for everyone who is stuck here. Quit treating San Francisco residents like cattle to be moved about in crowded containers. No wonder ridership is going down. and people are leaving.

The department that can’t keep the trains running on time now due to major switching problems can’t wait to put in more switches. The department that can’t provide a safe ride on the monster buses wants to hire security guards for bigger buses, instead of hiring more drivers to for smaller buses that hold fewer riders, with comfortable seats for everyone. Where is the humanity at SFMTA?

An ethics pledge for the district attorney race

By Larry Bush : 48hills – excerpt

Two candidates agree not to take money from DA Office employees, bail bonds companies or corporate PACs. It’s a start.

Two candidates for district attorney, Chesa Boudin and Leif Dautch, have created an ethics pledge for the campaign, and it takes us further toward making the city’s chief law enforcement office less susceptible to the influence of pay-to-play politics that can affect everything from who gets hired, who raises money for DA candidates, and special interest corporate money… (more)