District Supervisor Addresses Concerns
April 7, 2005 9:02 AM
District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, addressed SF State student and faculty concerns about parking problems and possible Muni fare raise during a brown bag lunch held last Wednesday.
It was the first brown bag lunch at the university with Elsbernd since his election in 2004. The Political Science Student Association and the office of SF State President Robert Corrigan co-sponsored the lunch.
In a discussion which included about eight faculty and students, Elsbernd focused on the issues of the proposed San Francisco Municipal Railway fare increase and the lack of parking available for students.
On Feb. 28 the board approved part of a budget proposal that would include a possible 25-cent bus fare increase and reduction of bus lines due to a $57.3 million budget deficit.
The proposal would raise the adult fare to $1.50 from $1.25, and the discounted fare would rise to 50 cents from 35 cents, providing more than $4.4 million in new revenue.
In addition, the proposed fare hike of the price of adult monthly passes would rise to $50 from $45.
“Students are concerned about the fare raise, but there should also be an understanding of the process,” said Elsbernd.
He continued to explain that the Municipal Transportation Agency sets their budget, which comes to the Board of Supervisors who then vote on the proposal.
“The question there is how would we receive funding?" said Elsbernd. “The university can do it through another referendum, but I really don’t know how we would do that.”
Elsbernd said he received an e-mail from a student that suggested added express buses to the 28 and 29 Muni lines. The student also suggested express bus passes, so students could get to the university more conveniently. Elsbernd said he passed the idea on to the MTA.
Elsbernd is working on a plan to make the city’s air cleaner by eliminating diesel buses.
“The two-hour parking spots are for Park Merced residents,” said Turitz. “Parking is not a Park Merced problem.”
According to Turitz, there are 20,000 full-time students out of a campus that holds about 30,000 students, and the university provides only 2,000 lot parking spaces.
Turitz also expressed his concern about classrooms being crowded. According to Turitz, in the last two years some 100 faculty members have left the university, with few replacements. Since the number of faculty has been cut, so has the number of sections, increasing class sizes and reducing the number of classes offered.
“They (the university) doesn’t seem to have a specific formula to say how many classes should be cut and the lack of faculty isn’t helping the situation,” said Turitz.
Elsbernd said that the Office of Emergency Services has received $20 million in grants for these types of problems, so it is likely that some of the money can be used for 19th Avenue improvements.
“During last year’s board elections, students expressed that they wanted a more hands-on campus supervisor,” said Zepeda. “Having a voice on our campus like Elsbernd is great because we get to the direct contact we need.”
Aimee Zenzele Barnes, program development officer at the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center, remembered last year's rally at SF State during the Board of Supervisor’s elections.
“It was a very good turnout,” said Barnes. “I remember there were a good 300 people there, and one-third of the people were members from the local community that came to meet and question the candidates.”
[X]Press recently interviewed several SF State students about their thoughts on Elsbernd and preceding supervisor Tony Hall and found that most students interviewed were unaware of the role past and current supervisors played at SF State.
During the meeting, Elsbernd explained his role as a supervisor.
“I sit on the Board of Supervisors, and people ask how I balance my role as a supervisor,” said Elsbernd. “You name the issue and I’ve got some role in it. That is the bread and butter of being a supervisor for this district.”
For more information on upcoming brown bag lunches with Sean Elsbernd, contact email@example.com or call (415) 338-1178.
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