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New mayor could face tougher ‘question time’

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A crowd sits during a supervisor meeting at San Francisco’s City Hall on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. (Sarahbeth Maney/S.F. Examiner)

Supervisor Aaron Peskin said Tuesday he wants to make more worthwhile a monthly session at the Board of Supervisors in which the mayor answers questions submitted in advance.

Voters approved Proposition C in November 2010 requiring a monthly “question time.” The measure left the rules up to the board and mayor.

SEE RELATED: Board questions the value of ‘question time’

Peskin was among those supervisors a decade ago — during his first time in office as the District 3 Supervisor — who asked voters to approve question time, which came amid a contentious relationship between the board and with then-Mayor Gavin Newsom.

But by the time it came to adopt the rules Peskin was termed out. Those rules require questions submitted to the mayor in advance and there is no room for follow-up questions. Many supervisors have simply stopped submitting questions.

“I was off the board when ultimately the rules for question time were adopted,” Peskin said. “I think they have really led to a very stilted, not-real conversation question time that was originally contemplated.”

Peskin said he would like the board to discuss changing the rules, which would take eight votes, “to really have a real and meaningful question time.”

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