Bruce Oka off Muni Board — Just Five Commissioners Left to Vote on Central Subway Bond

“You never call, you never write” isn't just the lament of parents and grandparents everywhere. It's come to be the gripe of several former city commissioners.

Bruce Oka's four-year term as a Municipal Transportation Agency board member expired on April 29, and he says neither Mayor Ed Lee nor anyone connected to Lee bothered to pick up the phone and dial Oka's number. And no, no one wrote, either. Oka, in fact, says he's been trying to arrange a meeting with Lee for more than a year — “and I was a sitting commissioner!” But, always, he was told “soon.”

“I'm not gonna publicly criticize the mayor for what he's doing,” says Oka, a Gavin Newsom appointee who was unafraid to criticize the denizens of City Hall. “But somebody could have called me and let me know whether I'm back or I should make other plans. I could have accepted that. This appointment is important to me; don't get me wrong. But if the mayor doesn't want me, so be it.”

Nicole Wheaton, Lee's appointments secretary, told SF Weekly “no call has been made” on whether to reappoint Oka — which, inadvertently, also serves as a double-entendre regarding the mayor's phone-averse style. With Oka in limbo and Malcolm Heinicke's reappointment not yet approved by the Board of Supervisors, only five Muni board members will tomorrow vote on a lightly publicized bond measure that could add upwards of $61 million to the city's costs for the Central Subway.

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