tv [untitled] July 27, 2011 11:30pm-12:00am PDT
my name is tom nlan. i am very happy that i am joined by my colleagues here, the vice chair jerry lee. cheryl brinkman and bruce oka. the director would have been year, but he was away on business in oakland. thank you, directors, for being here. we really appreciate the input we got -- over 650 responses to the questionnaire, which we put through the citizens advisory committee and other interest groups, and we are very pleased. we believe we of dawn and else standing at job. -- we believe we have done an outstanding job. [applause] i think that was the honeymoon
right there, guys. [laughter] before we talk about today's event, i want to meet -- i want to mention debra johnson, who unfortunately had a medical appointment this morning. she wanted to extend our congratulations. ms. johnson has served this agency so incredibly well. particularly, our work with the union negotiations recently, successfully completed. she is an outstanding, dedicated member of the team here. we look forward to working with her for a long time in the future. i want to say one thing in particular. i think a lot of people from staff are here for the mta. one of the highlights for me was to meet with about 50 of the senior managers and directors, getting input in an incredibly awful experience.
i came away more proud than ever. i appreciate the input. i believe our selection reflects all the qualities you talked about. let's talk about the candidate himself. he is one of 30 or 40 applicants for this job. we see in him someone that is a very fast learner, who has proven time and again 311 and also at his previous employment in washington. he and his family are daily muni writers -- riders. it is a 24/7 operation. he has done an outstanding job their. he also manages more than $2 billion of capital projects. let's welcome him here.
we're going to major capital projects. he is a truly gifted leader. that is the most important thing to was. wanted someone who san francisco understood, the dynamics of city government, and so we knew the city and was passionate about being a san francisco and. the many challenges he faces -- implementing the new labor contract, reaching out to all labour organizations at all levels. he is concerned with the basic reliability and key functions of. -- and key functions. is said that while improving -- he said that while improving functions was a basic key measure, we will look into what that entails.
it is a thoughtful look from someone who cares about the system, but is coming from outside. the most important thing to him is the most important to our customers, transit and parking and traffic. pedestrians, the whole thing. is a comprehensive view. we are confident we have chosen exactly the right person at this time. the next part of the agenda was to invite mayor lee to say a few words. that actually, he is on jury duty. i would think it would be a benefit of mayor that you do not have to do that, but evidently not. he is a real citizen, the mayor. instead, we have from the board of supervisors, david chiu.
[applause] supervisor chiu: thank you, and first of all, i want to thank the incredible men and women who are serving at the leadership of the mta. many of us at the board of supervisors were anxious and curious about the position that would be announced today. i can tell you from the board and, we are all incredibly gratified with the wonderful decision made today. congratulations for that. i also want to obviously say a few brief words about ed, and then we all want to hear from him. i have known him for three years. before i was elected to the board of supervisors, he was someone i knew was incredibly well respected not only in my district, but throughout the city, and as someone who understood the details and the big picture. we have worked closely together
on improving our roads. i have cycled with him. i know he is very committed to making sure we will see great safety and great industry ahead, and he is someone who rides the bride and walks the walk. we have sat on the knee -- on muni and talk about what needs to happen to improve the system. he has a great team at the mta to pop into this. i think today the future of transportation in san francisco is in good hands. with that, are we about to hear from the man himself? >> that was probably a bad career move on my part, but we're also pleased to have two other members of san francisco leadership with us, supervisor scott wiener from district 8,
who has a great interest in uni. would you like to say a word or two? sueprvisor weiner: i really want to congratulate the mta board for making an inspired choice your. another has been discussion in the press as to whether he wants someone who has experience running a transit agency, but i think it is important to keep in mind mta is not just about muni. muni is the 800-pound gorilla. but it also encompasses the taxi system, the roads, and, of course, muni. need someone who has the vision to integrate all of that and have a great global transportation system in san francisco. i have worked with him for a long time, back to when i was the president of my neighborhood association and we were
planning in our first parts project in the castro. i cannot think of a better, more dedicated public servant, someone who truly gets the big picture. i am so excited about the selection. ed, congratulations. i really look forward to working together. [applause] >> i would like to ask our city attorney dennis hererrera to say a few words. >> thank you, tom. i would like to congratulate the mta board on all wonderful joyce. how i got involved in public life in san francisco, i was appointed as the predecessor to this board by mayor willie brown back in 1996. back then, the budget was much smaller. that the mission was just as
important. in the two or three years i served on the board, and then as city attorney, were muni happens to be my largest client, i cannot tell you how much i appreciate the work that the organization does. scott talk a little but about his experience -- talked a little bit about his experience. to me, that is what it is about. to have the stick to it of this -- sticktoitiveness to stick with an organization. i cannot imagine a better addition for this organization. we have had the opportunity -- i've had the opportunity to volunteer working for him on neighborhood cleanups, and i see how much he cares about san
francisco, in respect of of his role. he has the leadership skills, the drive, the vision, the people skills to take muni to the next level. i want to congratulate him on his new position and the mta board on a truly inspired selection. i know he is going to inspire nothing but confidence in the riding public of the city and county of san francisco. thank you. [applause] chairman nolan: a couple more quick thank yous. thank you for putting this all together for speeding even then the mayor is not here -- i want people to understand this mayor truly respects and appreciates the will of the people on prop. 8. he respected the board's decision, and i thanked the mayor for that. anyway, if he had been here, i would only say good things about
him, about ed. ed says the first 45 minutes of the stock would be praising the board of supervisors -- the board of directors. [laughter] i am very proud of the selection made. please join me in welcoming the new director of transportation and. [applause] >> thank you. obviously, my mom was up late last night what -- writing talking points for everybody. thank you to her for doing so. [laughter] i am honored and humbled to be here before you today. i want to thank the mta board for their vote of confidence in appointing me to this position.
i came to local governments, to public service and local governments 10 or 11 years ago because i love cities. i think cities are incredibly important. they will be potential to enable people to access education and jobs and culture and diversity, interaction and innovation. they also hold the potential to about us grow so that we can grow in ways that we are not spreading out to the west out -- to the rest of the planet that we need to sustain itself. for those reasons, i decided about a dozen years ago to devote my professional life to trying to make this work, to make them better places to live and work in. for me, thinking about how that applies to san francisco, because of our density, because
of our hills, our strong opinions about everything, transportation is essentially important to maintaining and enhancing the quality of life for the people of san francisco, people whether they are visiting or working. people need to be able to get around. mobility is exceedingly important when we are packed so close together in this beautiful city. what is so attractive to me about this position is the great opportunity that it holds to really make transportation work for san franciscans. people should be able to pop on the and unique bus -- on a muni bus or cable car. people want to ride muni. they like it. it is pleasant.
in keeping with the transit first policy of the city, which i think is really for were thinking, we also want people to be able to feel comfortable if they want to bike where they want to go. if people want to what to get to where they want to go. in order for those things do happen, the streets and sidewalks need to be inviting and welcoming, and we want people to use those modes, because it is good for the city, it is good for the climate and environment. is good for the health of the people who are biking and walking. it went all around. when you cannot take muni or bike or walk, people should be able to hail a cab and get one. or call a cab and get one. people should be able to access upcard to share. to get where they are going. ultimately, for those of you who have won, if you want to jump into a car, that should be
reasonable and available alternative as well. i have every belief that that vision -- and i think that is really what the voters in vision back in 1999. i think that is achievable. i think we can have a world- class transportation in our world-class city. the reason i think it is possible -- i think the voters, the people of san francisco really had great foresight and vision, putting all the modes together, which is unique in this country, if not the world. if you need traffic flow -- you need traffic flow to be managed cried. by putting all this authority in one place, i think there is tremendous potential this agency can do. there are wonderful things the
men and women of this agency have put in place through tep, sf park, getting the central subway going. the foundation has been laid to spring forward. i also believe and know their are a lot of crete, hard- working, -- great, hard-working, dedicated men and women in mta to have exceptional transit expertise and knowledge they are bringing to bear every day for the people of san francisco. putting all those things together, i see no reason why we cannot have a world-class transportation system. it is incredibly exciting. i am incredibly excited about the opportunity to contribute to making that happen. i think it is infinitely
possible. i think it is what's san franciscans deserve. i do want to a acknowledge both mayors lee and newsom for giving me the opportunity to come to the government on in the first place. it has been tremendously rewarding for me. i want to particularly thank the npw family, many of whom are here today. is tumbling and honoring to see you -- it is humbling and honoring to see you here today. it is incredibly motivated, confident, passionate group of men and women that come to work every day to try to make san francisco a better place. and if i was successful as the director of public works, it is because of the men and women of the department working together with me as a team with the
strategic direction focused on delivering the best service they could to the people of san francisco. my success is, there, that's the spirit. i look forward to working under the direction of the mta board, with the men and women of the mta, the labor organizations and leadership that represents them come with the rest of the elected family of the city, with my colleagues across the government's, from planning to the t.a., to the city attorney's office, the police department, working with the city family, working with our other regional states partners. all of them an important part of the transportation system here, working with other stakeholders within cac, within various
advocacy groups. and really, the people of san francisco who really deserve to have a transportation system. what i will commit to all of you and to the entire board is i will do everything i can during my time here to make it so that years down the road, when we all look back on the decision of the mta board, we will feel like it is a good decision and we will be happy with the results. thank you very much for coming. it is really an honor. i look forward to serving the people of san francisco. thank you. [applause] chairman nolan: i want to say a word of thanks to the board for the outstanding foundation ed
reiskin was talking about building upon. there are so many amazing members of the executive team. we have a strong foundation going for. now we have time for questions. i will take the easy ones. ed reiskin will take the tough ones. does anyone have any questions? seeing none -- [laughter] any questions? >> let me ask the question that every transportation and chief around the world has been i asked. what do you plan to do to make the trains and buses run on time? [laughter] >> yes, i think the honeymoon is over, huh? i do not walk into this presuming to have all the answers for the mta.
the men and women of the india are the experts in their field, and what i -- of the mta are the experts in their field, and what i see my job as is looking at what makes things work and not more. i think the people at the very front lines behind the steering wheel have the answers to these questions. i was just a very frequent muni rider and patron. i think there is low hanging fruit. i think there is efficiency to be found. i think there is no question we can make the operation work more efficiently, more effectively, i was going to say it is simple, but it is not simple. speeding muni will make it more efficient and cost-effective and enable us to develop much better service.
i do not presume to be walking in with all the answers. i think the answers lie within the agency already. my job is to unleash the power for the folks that work here to make that happen. that is what i am absolutely committed to doing. >> how you supposed to deal with the new -- [unintelligible] >> one of my first orders of business will be to sit down with the labor leadership. we need to work as partners. i do not see this as management versus labor. i see this as in g-8 employees working together towards a common goal -- mca employees working together towards a common goal. -- mta employees. as far as the contract, if
changes need to be made, that is what we will do. i will be engaging in a partnership with labor. it will not be so much about the bargaining agreement, but how we can more together to improve the delivery of service. i will sit down with them as soon as i can and work together collaborative lead -- collaboratively to make the muni system as efficient as possible. >> [unintelligible] chairman nolan: we can gather with members of the press if you like right after this. i hope you all agree that we are enormously proud of the decision we have made, and we look forward to working with ed reiskin on behalf of all the people of san francisco. thank you for being here. if members of the press want to stick around and ask questions, i am happy to do that.
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