Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Jeff Adachi, Public Defender
San Francisco's bloated payroll and $7 billion annual budget could probably be cut in half without any diminishment of services to the public at large, but that's not to say all municipal workers are equal.
For every lazy municipal employee, be they a six-figure management figure or a low-paid Park & Rec slacker, there are others who attack their jobs with energy and passion.
Chief among that latter group in San Francisco is the Public Defender's Office led by Jeff Adachi (above), whose staff works long hours for relatively little compensation. Of course, they were the department that was slated for major cuts by Mayor Newsom in collaboration with City Supervisor Elsbernd. The overcompensated and bloated fire and police departments, meanwhile, have suffered very little in the latest budget struggle.
So Jeff Adachi went on the offensive, and explained to anyone who would listen how forcing the department to send public defender cases to private counsel would be a financial disaster, penny wise and pound foolish. He made his case well, with humor and drama, and at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday afternoon, much of his funding was restored before the final annual budget was approved. He's my favorite local politician, and I wish he'd run for mayor.