Total Pageviews

Sunday, March 25, 2012


The Department of Building Inspection (DBI) has failed San Franciscans.

Somewhere, along the line - some in the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) let their guard down and screwed all of us. Did not live to standards and pandered to the very corrupt. We have a list of the corrupt - but at this time of healing it is not right to set the healing - back.

It does not matter - now, that Angus McCarthy an Irish man and Warren Mar a Chinese man - both immigrants; who have worked hard to make it to the Commission - but also in life - have taken charge of the DBI Commission - what does matter - is that right now - the DBI Commission must perform to very high standards. 

These two gentlemen - Agnus McCarthy and Warren Mar - must now; some how - make the DBI operations workable.

The Shenenigans have been many - but, somehow the many flaws have to be stopped. Poor performance and corruption curtailed and high performance made a mandate.

There was a time - when I came before this DBI Commission and with my good friend Joe O'Donague - then President of the Residential Builders Association.

We tried to instill some common sense into the deliberations at the DBI Commission.

It seems much water has flowed - and some how some key personnel working for the DBI - have failed this fair City and County of San Francisco - and brought shame where they could have brought us Kudos.

My friend Agnus McCarthy has had a good track record - and I have known him over the years as a fair man.

I hope now that he uses the luck of the Irish - being a good Irish man to turn this DBI around - in large measure - because - there is going to be a lot of construction to build both market value and affordable housing.

DBI  can issue the permits on these many projects in the pipe line and some waiting to get permits - collect the millions of dollars - using a process that works and that delivers. With accountability and transparency. We must learn to collect the money; due this City so that DBI and related entities can operate better.

An added value to this new leadership at the top - Angus McCarthy knows how the small contractors operate.

The DBI must speed up the Permitting Process - without black balling, using dirty tactics. blatant corruption as has been used in the immediate past - to target some who most of the time - have been innocent victims.

Our fair City does not need any entity to conduct themselves in such a manner. I truly know what I am talking about - and do not force me to reveal the details. The are sordid, and will bring disgrace to those I name.

Mr Warren Mar is not known to me - but doing some quality research he has a good sense of the permitting system and can improve and fine-tune this Permittng System - to bring in the money - and help this great City and County of San Francisco.

Again and again; the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) has brought us headlines in the Main Media - some time ago an Inspector who was trapped by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - a lengthy court proceeding - and an outcome that was clouded with more issues.

Corruption by a former DBI Director who was removed, made her home with the SF Redevelopment Agency and now is floating around - Amy Lee.

The DBI Commissioners, the ones who have been there over a term and some two terms - have developed a false sense of authority - Debar Walker comes to mind right now - and also Lee who works for the Department of Public Works. You may know some - but, the bottom line what have you two done with all the institutional knowledge and experience you have.

I see some new DBI Commissioners - and Angus McCarthy and Warren Mar - must now open the doors and windows and sweep the ugly, fungi smelling cobwebs, and this will mean an orientation that demands standards, bench marks, and a quarterly written evaluation. This is mandatory.

The Director who was stumbling and stuttering at the last meeting where Angus McCarthy was elected Chair and Warren Mar vice-Chair - has to provide a better sense of leadership.

She is too cozy with the failed system  and has not delivered. She could improve or she must go. No single person, not doing their job is expandable. In the private sector - such performance means you go out the door.

Other DBI Inspectors - have taken upon themselves to act like Caligula. This nonsense must stop.

That 4801 structure must be taken down. The owner fined and all those involved in negation of the past fines - brought to book. This nonsense of absolving those who owe this City and County of San Francisco that are condoned - must STOP.

The Mendel Plaza is a JOKE - filthy and with too many shady operations taking place - round the clock.

This shaky, filthy. non-performing structure some years ago was struck by a MUNI bus and further weakened. This was not mentioned in the deliberations - and not stated as a fact.

All the same - the Bishop's who own this ugly structure have to realize that this building must come down - and someone must compensate them for this ugly structure.

As was stated; three main Departments are involved with Blight and fines - that can be explained as structures and buildings that need repair, are defaced, shaky structures, lacking permits for upgrades, failing to get permits, building with permits  - generally, contribute to lowering the value of properties in the adjacent area.

The three entities are the Department of Building Inspection, The SF Health Department, and the Department of Public Works.

There is also some valid enforcement by some appointed attorneys from the City Attorney's  Office - that exercised this power in the Bayview Hunters Point. This entity can joined the above and do the right - thing.

All over the Bayview Hunters Point we have toxic hot spots as many as 450 toxic hot spots - that must be noted on maps and revealed to the Public at Large. The above mentioned entities can work on this much needed project.
It is simply wrong to build homes and other building - large or small on Brown Fields and land where capping is used to contain the worst contaminants - using capping.

If the District 10 Supervisor was involved in the negation of the Bishop's structure at 4801 - she must be held accountable. Malia Cohen performance has been an utter failure - linked to Quality of Life issues.

The DBI has failed this City on Parcel A at Hunters Point. I know for a fact that Angus McCarthy is well informed as he gets all my articles. So, do the key members of the Residential Builders Association who must now step up, start building as small contractors and offer UNION wages. 

This can be done with renewed leadership - and Angus McCarthy can lead and will get the support of many. It is the same with Warren Mar - who has a sound track record - can interact with the small and big building owners - offering rental units.

In the next five years over 20,000 rental units will be built - many have the permits - and are in the pipe-line. 

The Mayor's Office of Economic Development and Work Force has failed us. The BDI must now step up and work with Mayor Ed Lee, DPW, SF Health Department, the City Attorney, other pertinent Departments and entities - to create a ONE STOP and holistic Standard Operating Procedure - to offer the best services and curtail red tape.
The must be zero corruption withing the BDI.

I call upon Mayor Ed Lee, Mr. Mohammed Nuru, Mr. Dennis Herrera, George Gascon, and the other heads of the entities - I have mentioned; and those that need to bring their expertise to the fore - and serve the constituents of San Francisco - as they ought to be served.

The Academy of Art University has converted thousands of rental units without permits all over San Francisco - all these years.

Most of this happened because of SF Planning Department and the Department of Building Inspectors - permitted and allowed the Academy of Arts University to do so.

These units must be reverted to their former status - and if they cannot be done - the Academy of Art University - fined and the millions in fines - used to build rental units.

I have watched many talk the talk but fail to walk the walk. This Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin Lee - can and must step up on this issue of affordable and rental units - to be built by small contractors.

Nibbi, Cahill, Swinerton, Webcor, and some other Big Developers have failed us all.

Now, we need the qualified small contractors to step up - form a Consortium of Contractors, abide by local hiring, and put their best foot forward.

I look forward to meeting with Agnus McCarthy and wish him good luck - the luck of the Irish. May some of that rub on Warren Mar - who I have not been introduced to - but seems to know what he doing - very well.

We cannot allow thousands of decent families to leave San Francisco - because of those that do not aspire to families and family values.

Do not FAIL to take charge of the situation, do not fail to monitor those that do not their work, and fail us all - citizens of San Francisco where it matters.

As was stated at the last DBI meeting - millions of dollars are NOT collected and we do need every dime to make our City play its due role to serve the constituents of San Francisco - issuing valid permits and collecting the fees.

The Department of Building Inspection: