Commissioner Mark Samuelian said, “I support the applicability as we had on first reading. While I understand the concerns, to me it’s a fairness issue. We talk about being fair to business, being open to business, a set of folks made investment decisions, did something under a certain set of rules. To change it now in front of them doesn’t strike me as fair so I would support keeping the applicability as we did on first reading.”
Commissioner Mark Samuelian said he wanted to see “more data, more fact-based analysis” of projects. “With the size of money flying around, I really think we need to elevate our game.”
Referencing the “unique challenges” faced by the City in terms of sea level rise and flooding, he said he wanted to “raise the bar on resiliency” with better “planning and executive engagement with community stakeholders and with the boards.”
Samuelian urged Morales to present a “stronger point of view” on items so that decisions are “less Commission driven.”
“We rely on your professional expertise and your team to call it like you see it,” Samuelian told Morales. He wants Commissioners to consider less of the “small details” and more big picture items but added, “Overall, I’m very pleased.”
Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who has pushed for the inspector general’s office, said he thinks the initiative will end up saving the city money over the long run.
“One of the main functions of the inspector general is to help the city government work more efficiently, so if you think about it, even if the inspector general would identify just 1 percent efficiencies, that’s $6 million a year,” he said. “If you ask me if I’d spend $1 million to save $6 million? Any day of the week.”
At the same meeting, Commissioners John Aleman and Mark Samuelian pushed back on the criticism, saying the city is doing the best it can. “We are constantly challenging what we’re doing,” Samuelian said.
“We collectively have to keep pushing the envelope, but we also have to acknowledge that the technology is not perfect,” Aleman added. “There’s no technology for that that can operate on an industrial scale. If there was, we’d be implementing it.”