The Worst-Run Big City in the U.S.

Spend more. Get less. We're the city that knows how.

As long as San Francisco is an alluring destination where residents will tolerate lunacy as a tradeoff for living the city lifestyle, and tourists flood the downtown, the city will lumber along, inefficiently and without accountability. "San Francisco is like the really good-looking coed who can get away with being a jerk, while a less good-looking one couldn't," Kotkin says.

When everybody is politicking but nobody is accountable for the results, waste happens; unevaluated programs happen; Yomi Agunbiade happens — and nothing is done about it. After he resigned in disgrace, the Board of Supervisors, astonishingly, passed a resolution commending him for his years of service. He was offered the job of manager of San Francisco's wastewater improvement program. San Francisco tried to keep Agunbiade on the payroll, even after years of mismanagement, damning allegations of sexual and religious harassment, and potentially exposing the city to a massive lawsuit. The only reason he isn't working for the city today is that he apparently chose not to. He works at a private engineering firm, and did not return messages regarding this story.

Rose Dennis, the target of Agunbiade's years of alleged torment, put the situation — and, when you think about it, many of San Francisco's problems — into perspective.

"The only thing I ever wanted was for this to stop and for me to be left alone to do my job," she says. "This all could have been avoided. This was all . avoidable."

Read San Francisco’s Annals of Incompetence

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3 comments
axelham
axelham

Great article. But where's the reader's call to action? If only the author had enunciated what to do as clearly as the problems at hand.. It's certainly good to be informed, but this does little to empower - I still feel helpless.

 
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