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Ma, Daly challenge McGoldrick for chair of San Francisco Transportation Authority

By Pat Murphy and Luke Thomas

Copyright fogcityjournal.com 2006

January 26, 2006, 4:30 p.m.

Supervisors Fiona Ma and Chris Daly will challenge colleague Jake McGoldrick for chair of the San Francisco Transportation Authority (TA), the Sentinel learned today.

Both Ma and Daly have a history of political opposition to McGoldrick.

Last year Daly resigned one committee membership rather than continue to serve with McGoldrick as a committee colleague, after Daly failed to have McGoldrick removed. And the two have been at odds over land use proposals.

Ma endorsed McGoldrick's major opponent in McGoldrick's last re-election victory, and McGoldrick has endorsed Janet Reilly in the California 13th Assembly District race. Ma is a candidate in the 13th Assembly campaign.

McGoldrick said he is proud of his record.

"I've done a very fair and equitable job in transportation issues," McGoldrick told the Sentinel. "Everyone has a right to run."

McGoldrick, Ma, and Daly are the only TA commissioners seeking election as commission chair.

In a letter dated January 25, 2006, Daly asked Ma for her support in securing Daly's election as chair of the TA. The TA meets Tuesday at 11:00 a.m., in City Hall Board Chambers. All eleven supervisors serve as TA commissioners.

Just as quickly, Ma sent a letter also dated January 25, 2006, to colleagues asking that Ma be elected as TA chair.

Text of both letters follow:

From the Office of Supervisor Chris Daly

January 25, 2006

Dear Commissioner Ma:

I am writing to ask for your support in electing me as Chair of the Transportation Authority. As you know, I previously served as Chair of the TA in 2002 when we approved the Proposition K Expenditure Plan. The district I represent is disproportionately impacted by transportation-related decisions and my constituents care deeply about public transit, congestion management, and pedestrian safety.

The coming year presents us with very important opportunities to improve transportation for the people of San Francisco, as well as the thousands of commuters and visitors who come to our city. I hope that my work to promote public transit and higher environmental standards, improve the livability of our streets and sidewalks, and balance development, housing, and transportation needs, speak to my commitment and qualification for this important position.

In the last 5 years, my office has been at the center of a myriad of transportation-related issues. We have worked with stakeholders and DPT to increase bike lanes throughout the city. We have worked with TA staff to balance the needs of Tenderloin and Richmond residents in developing the Geary BRT. I have worked with BART to ensure the imminent completion of the 16th and Mission Bart Plaza retrofit. And I was also the principal sponsor of Prop I, the clean muni bus measure passed by the voters in March, 2004.

My district is also home to the Transportation Authority's hallmark project, the Transbay Transportation Center at First and Mission street, the most significant regional initiative undertaken since 1964 when BART construction first began. The new terminal will be designated to accommodate 300,000 passengers daily, 2,400 housing units and 1.2 million square feet of new office and retail space. This terminal promises to eliminate an estimated 20,000 car trips daily into the downtown area, and reduce travel time from San Jose to San Francisco from 90 minutes to 50 minutes. As a Director serving on the Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board, I have worked to bring forward this project with significant community benefits, which include 35% of the housing units for low-income residents and provisions to create new jobs.

Transbay will be funded through a combination of sources, including the TA's Proposition K. Design, engineering, and impact studies are currently underway, and construction is expected to start in 2007. The extent of the success of this historical project will hinge on the work and leadership of the TA. I hope that you will give me an opportunity to serve as Chair of the TA to help shepherd this and other important transportation-related undertakings. I trust that I have proven my dedication and eminent qualification to serve in this regard.

Chris Daly

From the Office of Supervisor Fiona Ma

January 25, 2006

Dear Colleagues:

I write to ask your consideration of my candidacy to help lead the Transportation Authority. I served as Chair of the Finance Committee from 2003, when we went to voters with Prop K to renew the half-cent sales tax, until May 4, 2005. Although I no longer serve in this role, I have kept a watchful eye on the Authority's programs and finances and have some serious concerns. I strongly oppose the so-called "Better Neighborhoods" planning ordinance and will not spend any taxpayer money from Proposition K to further that idea. I also have new initiatives I'll undertake.

Delivering on the Promise of Proposition K
When we went to voters, we promised to deliver critical projects such as the Central Subway, Transbay Terminal/Caltrain Downtown Extension and Doyle Drive. Unfortunately, the cost and crucial initiatives could go unfunded. I will work to deliver on the promise of Proposition K.

Preserving the future of Geary Boulevard
Geary light rail or bus rapid transit will radically change Geary Boulevard, and has had unintended consequences that pit Richmond residents against Tenderloin residents. I will work to develop a plan for Geary Boulevard that wins neighborhood support while improving transit options.

Protecting pedestrians
Together with Supervisors Dufty, Alioto-Pier and Daly, I introduced an ordinance to improve pedestrian safety. In committee, we heard that the cost was prohibitive. I have also supported adequate funding for paratransit, but we have yet to reach that goal. I will work to reorder the priorities so pedestrian safety and paratransit get sufficient funding.

Leveraging our relationships with the state
Whether it's 19th Avenue, the Bay Bridge, Octavia Boulevard, Doyle Drive or Van Ness Avenue, the City and County of San Francisco has to do better in our relationships with the state and especially with Caltrans to ensure that our priorities are addressed. As massive infrastructure bonds are debated, we must protect our city's priorities including high-speed rail. My experience with the state legislative process will help advance San Francisco's transportation agenda.

I look forward to Tuesday's meeting and respectfully ask for your support.

Fiona Ma




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