The peculiar priorities of Mayor Ed Lee

by Susan Dyer Reynolds : marinatimes – excerpt

Tents in the Mission photo by zrants

According to recent data compiled by American City Business Journals, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is the highest paid mayor in America with an annual salary of $289,000. I guess with a $9.6 billion budget, that’s a drop in the proverbial bucket. It’s certainly not merit-based: As San Franciscans grow angrier about the condition of their once fair city, Lee’s approval number has plummeted to the low 40s, with those who “strongly approve” of his performance in single digits.

Perpetually perched atop glorious lists such as “best places to visit,” San Francisco now takes titles like “worst roads in the nation.” A November 2016 study by the National Transportation Research Group found that 71 percent of San Francisco’s roads are in poor condition — that’s worse than any other city with a population of 500,000 or more. Drivers here pay nearly $1,000 on average for auto damage caused by those rough rides. Lee’s answer is of course to add another layer of bureaucracy called “the fix-it team,” with a “fix-it director” (yes, that’s the official title) who reports directly to him. Are you telling me with a budget bigger than the nations of Haiti, Belize, Aruba, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Bahamas combined, bigger than 13 U.S. states, bigger than every U.S. city per capita except Washington, D.C., that we can’t get potholes fixed without creating another six-figure middle management job?(more)

A lot to think about. San Francisco has a lot of priorities lining up for a handout. The public needs to be involved in priority discussions, as there will be cuts coming soon. A hiring freeze would be a good place to start. We don’t need any more six figure staff. We also need to admit which of the experiments on our streets are not working. The figured out that removing trash cans was leading to more trash on the street so they are returning the cans. How much money did we spend on that experiment?

SSI/SSP Assists Low-Income Seniors and People With Disabilities in Every County in California, but Could Face Federal Cuts

calbudgetcenter – excerpt (Includes a chart)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides federally funded cash assistance to help low-income seniors and people with disabilities pay for housing, food, and other necessities. The maximum monthly SSI grant for most recipients in California is currently $735 per month — less than 75% of the federal poverty line for an individual. Also, California funds a State Supplementary Payment (SSP), which provides up to an additional $160.72 per month for most recipients. Yet, the combined maximum SSI/SSP grant for an individual — $895.72 per month — is still equal to only about 90% of the poverty line. Total funding for SSI/SSP will reach nearly $10 billion in 2016-17, with the federal government providing $7.2 billion and the state, $2.5 billion. Of the 10 California counties with the highest shares of residents enrolled in SSI/SSP, most — including the top three of Del Norte (7.3%), Lake (6.0%), and Siskiyou (5.9%) — are in rural areas. The efforts of Republican leaders in Washington to scale back federal support for the safety net could include reductions to SSI. Any such cuts would be a further blow to SSI/SSP recipients who already struggle with California’s high cost of living… (more)

You can view the PDF version of this Fact Sheet based on most recent 2015 data found on the California Budget and Policy Center web site

San Francisco figures:

SSI recipients under 18:                             5,880
SSI recipients 18:-64:                                 15,913
SSI recipients 64 and over:                        27,533
Total SSI recipients:                                    44,181
Share of population:                                    5.1%
Estimated SSI payment 2016-2017:        $337,290,00