Former supervisor Matt Haney proposed to the Department of Sanitation and Streets to break this obligation with Public Works. Supervisors will vote to make it a reality on Tuesday, but ironically it will now be a department within Public Works.
Just two weeks after the (still expanding) Mohammed Nuru public works scandal fell in January 2020, then-District 6 supervisor Matt Haney proposed a new street cleaning and sanitation department. nothing but clean up the famous dirty streets of San Francisco. At the time, Haney told the Examiner “We need a restructuring of DPW and how we respond to street cleaning.”
Haney got a November 2020 ballot measure create the new department, a measure that adopted with 60% approval. The Supervisory Board officially created the department last December (with the slightly different name of the Department of Sanitation and Streets), which Haney said in a statement would “create a laser department focused on street cleaning, with new levels of responsibility, staffing personnel, responsibility and supervision”.
But now Matt Haney is absent from the State Assembly, and technically there is still no Department of Sanitation and Streets. What happened with all this?
It turns out that the whole department is still being created, at the breakneck pace of SF city government. But on Tuesday, the SF Supervisory Board will finally vote on the structure of the departmentto be operational by July 1.
Yet despite Haney’s attempt to separate the Department of Sanitation and Streets from Public Works, legislation the council is considering will essentially make it another sub-department within Public Works. The legislation would require Public Works to “provide the new Department of Sanitation and Streets with administrative support, including human resources, performance management, finance, budgeting, technology, emergency planning, training and the employee security service”.
In addition, the council will vote on three supervisory commissioners for the new department. The supes get two picks, and on Tuesday they will vote to approve those picks: Thomas Richard Harrison and Kimberlee Ann Hartwig-Schulman. Mayor Breed gets a pick, and his pick is COO and head of government affairs at the California Academy of Sciences. Ike Kwon.
There’s a lot of ‘conflict of interest’ filing requirements for these commissioners and whoever ends up running the department, hoping to avoid a repeat of the (alleged) public relations and freebie solicitation machine. of Mohammed Nuru who was perhaps looking to downplay the poor street conditions while also looking at his greasy hands. And perhaps Haney can say this department will end up being one of his signature legacy moves. But given that its aim was to remove street cleaning duties from public works, and now it has ended up creating another department within public works, there is reason to be skeptical whether this department Street cleaning could end up being just another waste of City Hall’s resources. .
Related: Was Mohammed Nuru’s self-propelled PR machine to blame for San Francisco’s filth? [SFist]