With one interim director of SF's Department of Public Works on his way out, Mayor London Breed and City Administrator Carmen Chu have appointed a replacement, and it's someone with 17 years experience in the department.
Carla Short, who has been serving as Public Works' superintendent of the bureau of urban forestry, will assume of the role of interim director starting Monday, as Alaric Degrafinried takes his leave today. As SFist reported two weeks ago, Degrafinried is leaving city government altogether to take a job at BART, 18 months after he assumed interim director duties in the wake of the Mohammed Nuru scandal.
The Examiner reports that Short has been with DPW since 2004, and she's a graduate of Yale University.
"I’m proud to appoint Carla Short to serve as interim director of Public Works to continue the good work the department has done throughout the pandemic as we search for a long-term replacement for the role," said Breed in a statement. "She has a demonstrated track record as a successful leader, and I know that her commitment to this city and passion for her work will serve the department well during her time as interim director."
Short issued a statement saying, "I am extremely honored to serve as interim director and want to thank Mayor Breed and City Administrator Chu for the opportunity to lead the department during this transition."
Breed and the Board of Supervisors have said that a nationwide search will be launched for a new permanent director of Public Works, and specifically they want someone with a degree or background in architecture or engineering — which neither Nuru nor Degrafinried had.
Also, there will be a search on for a director for the newly created offshoot Department of Sanitation and Streets. San Francisco voters approved the creation of the new department in Prop B on last November's ballot, with a view toward separating some existing duties of the Department of Public Works out so that they hopefully get more priority.
Once the new department gets created, it will take charge of all street sweeping and sidewalk cleaning; sidewalk trash cans; graffiti and illegally dumped waste removal; and the maintenance of public restrooms, city buildings, and street trees. Public Works will continue to be responsible for designing, building, and renovating city buildings; maintaining city streets, sidewalks, curb ramps, plazas, bridges, tunnels and stairways; and maintaining sewers.