San Francisco , CA 94117, 94110, 94107, 94103, 94133
Are Uninvestigated Conflicts of interest bleeding taxpayers dry
The installation of parking meters, as well as the entire SFMTA / SFpark program may be muddied with uninvestigated conflicts of interest. Information has surfaced that would indicate that certain Serco employees should have filed certain disclosure statements with the city and certain ethical rules may have been violated.
A number of Serco job descriptions include in the list of responsibilites:
“Help to shape legislation for changes in laws affecting
parking policy and management”
Is it in the best interest of San Francisco citizens that private consultants have been contracted to:
1. Shape legislation for changes in laws affecting parking policy and management
2. Enforce that legislation (with the full force of government power)
3. Profit from the legislation that they helped to create.
The larger ethical issue is that private consultants may have been passing themselves off as SFMTA employees while promoting parking meter placements that will ultimately make more money for their private employer (along with the City) but also the privatization of a public resource aided and abetted by the disguised outsourcing of public functions to a private company that not only makes money off its consulting function but which influences decisions to put in place new policies, legislation, and parking meters that will continue to make them more money in the future.
(screenshots - from documents obtained under San Francisco's Sunshine Ordinance)
Were SFMTA Officials Awarded
for Lying to the public?
(Information - from documents obtained under San Francisco's Sunshine Ordinance)
City and County
of San Francisco
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
I'm happy to start out my report with special recognition awards for a small number of those staff that we want to honor today.
So, first I'd like to ask our cfo Ms. Bose to come forward with lauren [Speaker not understood].
Lauren is a principal administrative analyst on the sf park team.
She's been a member of that team since November 2009. She has led the planning implementation of difficult and complex parking policy efforts including policies related to city and sfmta employee parking as well as various neighborhood parking management proposals, all of which have been very popular. Her general responsibilities include acting as project manager for on street parking pricing policy and implementation which is really at the core of sf park.
She is the coordinator for the neighborhood parking management proposals, including all the technical work and outreach.
and let me just say I've been able to witness firsthand in both small community meetings and large that she really has I think an exceptional ability to deal with what can be a very difficult and contentious issue and a very professional and responsive and open way.
But I think even those who may not be convinced of the merits of what we're talking about, I appreciate the professionalism and the openness with which she approaches all this. So, because of that she has helped advance the parking management policies that we see as essential to implementation of the strategic plan and she's done so and helped make those policies more coherent, transparent, and helped establish that clear linkage to the strategic plan.
She works across the agency, very much with the sustainable streets division with the enforcement folks and does that well. and I guess basically is I think a model of the professional thoughtful next persistence required to get even difficult to get projects done.
Happy to honor you and would invite [Speaker not understood] To say a few words. >>
good afternoon. I'd really love to say a few words. First I want to have everybody
stand up who is here to appreciate lauren. We love her so much. [Laughter] >> you see lauren has a big cheering section because she
provides that much value. Unlike me, I'm forbidden to go to community meetings. [Laughter]
>> I don't have the sense of professionalism and style that lauren does. Lauren really has been key to advancing all of the parking projects. And as Mr. Reiskin mentioned, it would be pretty controversial out there and very personal and negative towards the mta, both individually.
Lauren has been able to, in her way, diffuse that and calm people down. So, she has a skill set that I think will make her an incredible leader no matter what she does going forward. I'm extremely proud of her and she really believes in the mission of the mta which is even more better. So, with that, lauren, a few words of thanks for everything you do. >> thank you on behalf of the board of directors and the entire agency for your outstanding work. And thank you for all your friends who came to support you and your colleagues. Great testimony to you. Love to hear a few words from you.
>> I really appreciate the award. It's really such a treat to have a job where you get to do relevant and interesting work every single day.
most of the crew who just stood up back there, the rest of the sf park, they're very talent and had a pleasure to work with. It's also great to have a chain of command that creates an atmosphere where you really can do the best work pottion every day. So, I very much appreciate that. And thank you for the honor. >> thank you.
>> Mr. Reiskin? >> you're all free to leave at any point so we can resume parking management. [Laughter] >>
Their phone is 1-800-424-9071.
“Help to shape legislation for changes in laws affecting
parking policy and management”
who help them implement parking management proposals that put new meters into the City. Andy Thornley told us a few years ago in The Bay Guardian:
"We've done all the easy things so far. Now we need to take space from cars."
A short time ago Thornley assured his colleagues that he’ll
“certainly still be an active, involved member of the SFBC.”
The Bike Club has been vocal about their plans for some time now.
New information has surfaced that would suggest that paid consultants for the SFMTA may been working with bicycle lobbyists at the state level to enact legislation that would allow them to financially benefit from the placement of parking meters in San Francisco. In addition these private consultants and their employers may have been influencing decisions to put in place new policies, legislation, and parking meters that will continue to make money for their employers and organizations in the future.
Researchers must be able to design and conduct their studies in an unbiased and objective manner that is free from conflicts caused by significant financial involvement with the commercial sponsors of the research. In this case, the only sure safeguard is for the investigator to have absolutely no financial relationships with entities that support his or her research. Some people say the bicycle lobbyist and city consultants have been working together on a plan that will enable them to signifigantly profit from each others actions (see May 8, 2008 - Thursday, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m).
Further examination would indicate that conflicts of interest may exist with respect to the non-profit organizations that, "are working to reduce or eliminate off-street parking requirements in the citys most congested and transit-rich neighborhoods, ensure that parking costs are "unbundled" from the cost of buying or renting housing or commercial space, and restricting excessive parking and driveways where they do harm to pedestrians, cyclists, and transit.
Questions for the Office of the Inspector General & San Francisco Ethics Commission from the concerned citizens of San Francisco
The US Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) maintains a hotline to facilitate the reporting of allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement in U.S. Department of Transportation’s programs and operations including: False Statements and False Claims; Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Violations; Violation(s) of Criminal Law and/or the Civil False Claims Act in Connection with a Federal Contract.
Their phone is1-800-424-9071.
The installation of parking meters and bicycle lanes might be muddied with uninvestigated conflicts of interest. Where is the accountability to the taxpayers? Where is the accountability in City Hall and where did the SFpark pilot project money go?
The SFMTA has bled hundreds of millions of dollars out of the economy and increased the cost of doing business in every part of the city.Citizens demand a full investigation and an audit of SFMTA's books. We hope the auditor is given the tools to perform the job that needs to be done.
In September 2011 The San Francisco Chronicle reported "The feds have hired an independent evaluation team to track the program's successes and failures. Team leader Carol Zimmerman, who spoke at the National Association of City Transportation Officials two-day conference, said a robust assessment will review everything from the change of air quality, the time it takes to find a space, the speed of traffic, sales tax revenue, the demand on the information technology and public perception to determine the effectiveness of SFpark." The final report was due in January 2013. So where is the report and why is the SFMTA continuing to sign contracts to buy more "demand responsive" smart parking meters in spite of the lack of evidence or data from the initial SFpark pilot? So who's been looking out for the citizens interest? Its certainly not the seven-member SFMTA Board of Directors.
"the facilitator" that the SFMTA hired was released from his employment by the city of Santa Monica. The residents in the City of Santa Monica did not appreciate him proposing ideas that will only benefit real estate developers, such as taking away parking and supporting more and greater density development. Instead of collecting the data that might have helped City Hall make proper decisions it is alleged that this consultant gathered only what was needed for the city to jump to their own preordained conclusions.
"Jeff Tumlin was the City’s principal traffic consultant for seven years, during which he made over $1 million for his firm, though traffic, congestion and gridlock got measurably worse. "
"Tumlin’s most recent planning surprise surfaced a couple of weeks ago when he claimed, after years of fiddling with parking plans, that the best way to reduce traffic was to provide fewer parking spaces. The rationale: if people know they can’t park, they won’t drive. Developers were crazy about the idea, as it would dramatically reduce their costs. Residents weren’t, as it would radically increase congestion."
Residents in Santa Monica say that Tumlins unfounded theories only favor developers who want to abolish minimum parking requirements. This seems to coincide with the report Smart Growth Alternatives to Minimum Parking Requirements (co-authored by )
See page 5
"Residents have had enough. The City has paid Mr. Tumlin and his firm over $1.6 million to devise circulation and parking policies. Virtually nothing concrete has come out of this lengthy,expensive process."
City listens to residents and fires consultant Jeffrey Tumlin for disparaging remarks about Santa Monicans.
SMCLC's Letter Urging City to Fire Jeffrey Tumlin ... read
Residents' Open Letter to city to fire Mr. Tumlin signed by over 600 residents ... read
Jeffrey Tumlin's resume calling Santa Monica residents NIMBYS ... read
Lookout News on firing in response to residents ... read
SM Daily Press "Tumlin Out" ... read
SM Patch ... read
From The Santa Monica Daily Press March 4, 2013
I joined what appears to be many other Santa Monicans in examining the resume of parking consultant Jeffrey Tumlin (“Community groups demand consultant’s job over comment,” Feb. 27). Since I spend a lot of time in San Francisco and am familiar with its issues, I focused on the section called “Key Accomplishments: San Francisco.”
Once past the self-important hyperbole, Mr. Tumlin states that two of his plans together “help accommodate over 10,000 residents without an increase in traffic, largely by making walking more delightful, bicycling safer and transit more efficient and reliable.” Sounds pretty good, no? I heard his same rap before the Planning Commission, describing it as the perfect solution for building Santa Monica 2.0.
And exactly where is this new nirvana? He is referring to the Bayview-Hunters Point redevelopment, a projected 20-year process of rebuilding 1,300 acres (over 2 square miles) of a former industrial land pocket in the southeastern corner of the city. Partially occupied by mostly lower-end housing, it is well served by freeways, but future funding for the project is sketchy at best. Candlestick Park (home of the 49ers) is also located there.
Only a consultant would consider his fancy (and expensive) how-to plan as an “accomplishment,” when there are zero tangible results, nor any results-based metrics to judge it on. Based on his blue-sky projections, the city of Santa Monica bows at his feet, and is gambling that millions of square feet of new development are just what we need while already overwhelmed with traffic. What the hell kind of planning is that? Is anyone even considering the disastrous downside if Tumlin’s “accomplishments” are simply wishful thinking? It’s no surprise that private developers continue eating the lunch of our naive politicians.
Where is the accountability to the taxpayers? Where is the accountability in City Hall? Citizens demand a full investigation and an audit of SFMTA's books. We hope the auditor is given the tools to perform the job that needs to be done. Read more about the ruinois impact of parking meters in Chicago.
What Else is the SFMTA hiding from the Public? Are these uninvestigated conflicts of interest just the tip of the iceberg? The Board of Supervisors, if it has any hope of restoring public confidence in City Hall, must audit every dollar the SFMTA is spending on programs, projects, and personnel. This process should immediately begin with public hearings and an ethics investigation.
What Else is the SFMTA hiding from the Public? Are these uninvestigated conflicts of interest just the tip of the iceberg?
The USDOT Office of Inspector General (OIG) maintains a hotline to facilitate the reporting of allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement in U.S. Department of Transportation’s programs and operations. Their phone is 1-800-424-9071.
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San Francisco , CA 94117, 94110, 94107, 94103, 94133