Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed eliminating local redevelopment agencies, folks at City Hall are re-reading the California Code and looking for ways to fund local upgrades.
Get used to hearing this term: “Infrastructure Finance District.” In the coming weeks, the Board of Supervisors will be approving the use of the districts generally, and one specific “test case” district at Rincon Hill. If the test goes well, expect more of these in preparation for the America’s Cup in 2013. Read More
Whether it is better to give than receive has been a question for the ages, though generally side-stepped in more modern times.
But it’s at the core of the biggest hurdle facing city taxpayers and public employees these days, with no better example than the one offered by San Francisco, finally coming to grips with this looming budget buster. Read More
Last week, we started hearing whispers from Washington, D.C., about a possible new strategy allowing states to file for bankruptcy. California, with its $25 billion deficit, is always listed as a prime candidate.
Currently, states are not eligible for bankruptcy law protection because they cannot be sued by debtors due to the sovereign immunity states are provided through the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Instead, what the federal government can do is put a state into “receivership” and send a nerd with a badge and a calculator to tell the state what to do. Read More
At the tennis courts where I play in The City, a well-guarded secret, I used to hit with a guy named Wayne who was known much more for his character than his forehand, which wasn’t half-bad.
Wayne, you see, started his weekend at 7:30 a.m. with a Michelob and a Sherman cigarette, the latter of which he held while he was gripping his Wilson Pro Staff racket for four or five hours between beers.
Needless to say, I admired Wayne greatly, and I was truly sad when I heard he died of a heart attack about two years ago — another city native who went down swinging. Read More
Gavin Newsom could not wait to leave the Mayor’s Office, bemoaning the fact that he had so much work to do in his final days — little details such as securing the America’s Cup for San Francisco.
And then you view his first agenda as California lieutenant governor and you have to wonder: Why the rush?
“Newsom to kick-off higher education listening tour,” in San Diego, his press office declared, “the beginning of a statewide conversation on higher education.’’
Golly, where do we sign up? Read More
My Nonsense File has been pretty empty since the kids’ meal toy ban, so I have been wondering what the militantly hypersensitive types have been up to. Something came across my desk that is so perfect in its absurdity that I cannot believe it is true. I am both sad and giddy to report this is real. Read More
Consider the search for the next San Francisco police chief more of a meet-and-greet scenario. You might want to get your introduction in quick.
The last time city officials picked a new chief, the process took seven months. By comparison, the next chief may only be in office about seven months. Read More
Anyone who says they predicted the events of the past two weeks in San Francisco is either a former Enron utility manager or the next Warren Buffett.
In either case, the advice here is to sell early and sell often.
But it is still a high-risk market, especially for those who would dare wade into the unknown — which would easily describe the place now occupied by former police Chief George Gascón, who decided to take an ambitious leap and move over to the District Attorney’s Office, an agency known to eagerly serve gluttons for punishment. Read More
With the circus-like atmosphere surrounding City Hall these days, casual observers may have a few critical questions.
Like, has the city of San Francisco lost its collective mind? And, possibly, if so many people are lining up to run to be the next district attorney, how come it’s been so hard to find a suitable interim replacement?
If I told you that the answer to the first question was directly tied to the second, I doubt you’d be surprised, since San Francisco apparently likes political intrigue and back-stabbing more than it likes sensibility or sunshine. Read More
What a long, strange week it has been — and because it involves San Francisco politics, it is about to become weirder.
Or, to put it in clearer terms, the reality show we know as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is about to film a new episode titled “Two and a Half Mayors.” Read More