That time of year has returned when the 11 elected officials who serve on San Francisco’s legislative body are enjoying their 27-day official summer break from the rigors of City Hall. With travels to Amsterdam, Puerto Rico and Uruguay and plans to attend Burning Man, supervisors are keeping busy in a different sort of way.
Legislative recess means no Tuesday board meetings. And there’s none of that political drama surrounding the 11 supervisors and their votes on legislation, development projects or policies taking positions on local issues and beyond.
There are no board committee meetings where legislation is cooked up amid hours of public comment and debate.
Nope. Instead, it’s mostly quiet under the dome. There’s the occasional sighting of a supervisor. Some aides remain busy in the offices. At times, a handful of supervisors’ offices are closed — lights out and doors locked.
Supervisor Eric Mar said the time off is a chance to “rejuvenate,” ensuring supervisors are most effective for the rest of the time. Mar is using his downtime to investigate his family roots — with trips to Modesto, San Bruno and Sacramento — hoping to ultimately figure out what specific village in China his family is from. As for the tail end of recess, Mar is heading to Burning Man, the annual weeklong event held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.
Michela Alioto-Pier, the District 2 supervisor, is spending time in San Francisco or in St. Helena as she remains locked in a court battle hoping to preserve her July 22 legal victory allowing her to seek re-election.
“I have to work through break, so not much of a vacation,” Alioto-Pier said.
Others are doing some soul-searching. Supervisor Chris Daly, the progressive stalwart, is termed out off office come January.
“Spending time with family and trying to figure out what I’m doing next,” Daly said of his break.
Board President David Chiu jetted to the Netherlands to participate in a study of urban transportation and bicycling best practices in several cities in that country. He’s with other city and Bay Area officials, including San Francisco Department of Public Works Director Ed Reiskin and San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency workers.
Across the globe, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi headed to Uruguay as an invited speaker on environmental issues.
For Supervisor John Avalos, it’s mostly sticking around the Excelsior neighborhood he represents, after spending so much time at City Hall consumed by hammering out a spending plan as chair of the board’s Budget and Finance Committee.
Soon enough, though, the political fireworks will return. This year’s official recess runs from Aug. 11 through Sept. 6. The first scheduled meeting following the break is Sept. 7, a full board meeting less than two weeks before summer’s official end.
Board’s out for summer
DISTRICT 1: ERIC MAR
Researching family lineage, attending Burning Man
Spending time between San Francisco and St. Helena
DISTRICT 3: DAVID CHIU
Participating, along with other local officials, in study of urban transportation and bicycling issues in the Netherlands
DISTRICT 4: CARMEN CHU
Spending five days visiting family in Covina
DISTRICT 5: ROSS MIRKARIMI
Six days in Montevideo, Uruguay, speaking about environmental issues to students and faculty of the Catholic University of Uruguay
DISTRICT 6: CHRIS DALY
Spending time with family, “trying to figure out what I’m doing next”
DISTRICT 7: SEAN ELSBERND
“Catching up with work; I’m in the office most days”
DISTRICT 8: BEVAN DUFTY
Two weeks in Provincetown, Mass., two hours of fundraising calls per day for 2011 mayor’s race campaign, with a $2,500-per-day goal
DISTRICT 9: DAVID CAMPOS
One-week stay in Puerto Rico
DISTRICT 10: SOPHIE MAXWELL
“I’m hanging out with my girlfriends, I’m going to Tahoe, I’m doing gardening, I’m going to a wedding and an engagement party; I’m having a great time”
DISTRICT 11: JOHN AVALOS
Visiting Los Angeles, planned weekend hike in Yosemite, reconnecting with neighborhood