Monday, February 25, 2013
Supervisor Scott Wiener was the featured speaker at the February 2013 S.H.A.R.P. meeting. He spoke to the well-attended gathering on a wide range of topics.
Supervisor Wiener stated that the budget process is beginning and the budget outlook looks more promising than in recent years. He said that the city would start funding three police academy classes per fiscal year to grow the SFPD rank-and-file. The department is shrinking because many officers are retiring.
Regarding transportation, Supervisor Wiener has asked MTA to provide a monthly report to the Board of Supervisors on matters such as deferred maintenance, vehicle breakdowns, and the like. He stated that the purpose of the city’s transit first policy is to offer sound alternatives to driving, not to eliminate private automobiles altogether. He has sponsored an ordinance to make it easier for developers to put public car sharing facilities in new developments. He said he believes there is currently not enough traffic enforcement in the city, and this applies to bicyclists as well as to drivers of motorized vehicles.
Speaking at length about development in general and the CEQA process, the supervisor said that he does not support the Ellis Act, but attempts to amend the statute in the state Legislature have not been very successful. He said that his proposed legislation to modify the process by which the city handles its responsibilities under CEQA is intended to put in place a cogent and consistent process for smaller projects, to ensure clearer and definitive deadlines for the filing of appeals, and to provide enhanced notice of appeals that have been lodged.
Supervisor Wiener responded to questions and concerns on matters ranging from the political influence of groups such as the Parks Alliance and Botanical Garden Society; his proposal to allow a one-time restricted conversion of certain TICs to condos; and the county law library’s future.
Lee Hsu, a member of the Greater West Portal Neighborhood Association, gave the attendees information about a website (Nextdoor.com) that allows the residents of a particular neighborhood to reach each other to stay informed about crime and safety; to provide referrals and recommendations; and to get to know their neighbors.
Nextdoor is a private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s an easy way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.
Thousands of neighborhoods are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.
People are using Nextdoor to:
• Quickly get the word out about a break-in
• Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group
• Track down a trustworthy babysitter
• Find out who does the best paint job in town
• Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
• Find a new home for an outgrown bike
• Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name
Nextdoor’s mission is to bring back a sense of community to the neighborhood, one of the most important communities in each of our lives.