Last summer I was showing a friend the area where I grew up, including the two City Parks that I frequented. I was saddened and embarrassed to see neither had seen a coat of paint since I was a kid, and one had been closed for some time. Didn’t we pass a bond measure awhile back to fix up the parks? Where did the money go?
The City and County of San Francisco spends 5 times as much per resident as Santa Clara County. We have twice as many employees, despite being 1/20th the size and having half as many residents. Why couldn’t some of those employees fix up my childhood parks? The City employs hundreds of Public Relations Specialists, (Spin Doctors), and just a handful of Certified Arborists. I believe they have it backwards.
On a recent visit to a local coffee shop I witnessed a City crew filling a pothole, about a foot round, and counted six worker involved in the process. I wondered how they all fit in the truck, and then noticed a second truck across the street.I have seen similar scenes time and time again, and can only deduce this is how things are done. There is no mystery why we spend so much and get so little if this is how they roll. Some City departments have a culture of laziness and ineptitude. They somehow can’t even do the basic maintenance despite having twice as many workers as the average, and have to borrow money to hire sub-contractors to do their work.
We need to change the culture of civil service to where they take pride in the work they do and the City they serve. We should not have to mortgage our future to maintain our parks.