When it comes to Nat Ford, always we grumble. We grumbled about how much money he was paid to work. Now we're grumbling about how much he'll be paid to stop working and get the hell out of town.
The lead rabble-rouser decrying Ford's $384,000 walkin' money is state Sen. Leland Yee. Aspiring panderers ought to line up and watch Yee's histrionics the way young ballplayers gawped at Barry Bonds in the batting cage. Way back when, Supervisor Harvey Milk went so far in the name of cheap populism as to intentionally tread in dog shit. Yee would have picked up the shit, brandished it before the cameras, and said, "Look what I almost stepped in."
Carrying on the fecal motif, a little while back SF Weekly
reported how much the city spends on toilet paper. This was done to
establish a point of relativity in the hyperexpensive world of city politics. It's hard to take populist cries about the
abomination of handing Ford a $384,000 severance package when San Francisco
expends $833,113 on toilet paper.
risible nature of Yee's crusade, however, is all too apparent for
anyone who's ever thumbed through a Board of Supervisors agenda. Every
week the supes make cursory approvals of hefty settlements
in cases far less clearcut than the ins and outs of Ford's
contract. According to the city controller's office, San Francisco
budgets about $11 million a year for settlements -- but that doesn't
include the occasional real doozy. Fittingly, Muni is responsible for quite a number of those.
So, pay Nat Ford his money. And get him out of here. Political theater is easy. Getting a transit system to run properly is not.