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Avalos Calls for Charter Amendment to Reform MTA Board; Rally Monday

9:14 PM PDT on May 15, 2009

mta_board.jpgMembers of the MTA Board, who are appointed by the Mayor. Photo by Bryan Goebel.

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos is proposing a charter amendment "that will provide greater checks and balances and independence for the MTA Board of Directors." Avalos, along with other supervisors and transit advocates, plan to announce their own MTA budget proposals (PDF) and rally on the steps of City Hall Monday:

The proposed Transit Justice Package proposes increased parking fees in certain parts of the City on Sundays and evenings, eliminating public subsidy in the City’s parking garages, rolling back some fare increases and safe guarding access for low income MUNI riders. 

Avalos and Supervisors Campos and Mirkarimi, sitting on the Budget and Finance Committee, voted again this week to reject the MTA budget, which calls for fare hikes and service reductions to deal with a $129 million deficit. Avalos sent a letter to the MTA Board late Friday explaining his proposed charter amendment:

I have asked the City Attorney to draft a Charter Amendment that would allow for a more balanced approach to appointing members of the MTA board.  The amendment provides the mayor with three appointments, the [Board of Supervisors] with three appointments and a yet to be determined independent government entity with one appointment to the MTA board. I know this may cause you some alarm, but the true nature of the proposals is to ensure that MTA has greater independence to make budgetary and policy decisions on this very important city department.

A charter amendment requires six votes of the Board of Supervisors to place on the ballot. The deadline for supervisors to introduce measures for the November ballot is Tuesday, the date of their next meeting. The rally Monday will be held at 3pm at City Hall on the Polk Street steps. We'll be staffing and tweeting the latest news.

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