That’s essentially what the Newsom administration is trying to figure out right now. They’re apparently a week to ten days away from finally finishing the emergency plan for an earthquake. We first reported more than a year ago that the city had failed to complete the disaster plan, even though San Francisco’s received more than $80,000,000 in federal grants the past few years. Last September, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Director of the Office of Emergency Services Annemarie Conroy
promised to have the earthquake plan done by January 1st, but they missed their own deadline. Four months later, on the anniversary of the Great Quake of ’06, we reported again that San Francisco had failed to complete its earthquake emergency plan.
Finally, at a recent meeting of some of the city’s homeland security leaders, the announcement came that the earthquake plan was almost finished, and that the Newsom administration had a pressing concern. This is an account from someone who attended the meeting: “They made it clear they want to release the earthquake plan in a way that Dan Noyes can’t take credit for it. Then, someone added, ‘Well, we wouldn’t have done one without him.’” Public relations may be important to them, but it’s not to us. We would have been happy to report a year ago that the entire disaster plan was complete and that it was a model for the nation, but that wasn’t the case … and it still isn’t to this day.
Public records have played a major role in allowing us to tell these stories, and it’s been a fight to see documents that should be available to us – and to you. We had to go so far as to file a complaint with the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, and last week, the members voted 10-0 that the Mayor’s Office and the Office of Emergency Services violated the law with their “failure to respond (to the I-Team’s requests) in a timely manner, failure to produce required documents, and improper redactions.” You can read the full “order of determination” here.
At the hearing, one task force member found it especially amusing that OES had blacked out the name of the governor on one of the documents provided to the I-Team – it was a symbol of the treatment we’ve received. The task force gave the Mayor’s Office and OES until the close of business today to provide a complete set of the city’s emergency plans. We’ll see what happens, and we’ll tell you tomorrow on ABC 7 News at 6pm. If the Mayor’s Office and OES fail to provide the documents to the I-Team, the Sunshine Task Force could refer the matter to the District Attorney, the Board of Supervisors or the California Attorney General.