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San Francisco Waterfront ‘Caught Between Public Input And The Power Of The Mayor’s Office’ Says Grand Jury Investigation

by Simon Perez
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SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A grand jury investigation in response to a citizen complaint about politically connected developers pulling the strings on San Francisco’s port development finds major concerns about public input and the power of the mayor’s office.

The title alone is concerning: “Caught Between Public Trust And Private Dollars”

READ THE FULL REPORT:
Grand Jury Report On The Port Of San Francisco And The Public Trust

“Planning for the waterfront has been extremely bad,” said Louise Renne, a former city attorney and now a prime critic of the way the waterfront is managed.

“The mayor and the Lee administration have treated the port like a cash cow… more than as a real stewardship responsibility,” said Joe Golinger, another critic.

The mayor’s office referred questions on the report to the port commission, which said it welcomed the report.

Examples of the problems it faces include the 8 Washington condo project, supported by the mayor.

“I want this waterfront to be accessible to everybody and not just to and not just the few and privileged,” Lee said during the development.

But the 8 Washington plan angered so many voters, it took a ballot measure to shut it down.

Then there was the plan to build a stadium for the Golden State Warriors on piers just south of the Bay Bridge.

And finally, the America’s Cup which was sold as a money maker for the city but according to the report, ended up costing the city and the port more than $11 million.

Golinger said, “The mayor has sort of allowed developers to run the show.”

The key recommendation in the report suggests the mayor no longer be allowed to appoint all five members of the port commission, and instead share that responsibility with the board of supervisors, with the goal being more public input.

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