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
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
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
I really have to hand it to former Mayor Gavin Newsom. In his last week in office, he engineered San Francisco’s first Chinese-American mayor and first Hispanic district attorney. You can bet he will be bragging about this in between sharpening pencils and playing solitaire as lieutenant governor. On Sunday, Newsom appointed police Chief George Gascón as district attorney to replace Kamala Harris, who is now California’s attorney general. I like Gascón, but no one (not even Gascón himself) saw this one coming. That explains all the e-mails I received asking, “Why Gascón?” Read More
Though he will always be Mistermayor to me (sniff), within the next week or so, Gavin Newsom will be leaving for weaker pastures as lieutenant governor. Also leaving office is Supervisor Chris Daly, who my friend refers to as “Supervisor Straitjacket.” Having publicly acknowledged time and again that he has no future as a politician, Daly will devote his efforts to running a bar called the Buck Tavern. Read More
As we wind down 2010 and look forward to 2011, let us recap some of the biggest stories in city politics this year:
5. Fox Feeding Frenzy
The kids’ meal toy ban. Meatless Mondays. Cell phone radiation labels. No water bottles at City Hall. A four-hour debate about a Gaza incident. We have given more fodder to conservative media outlets than the hue of Sarah Palin’s lipstick. If anyone at City Hall were smart enough, I would accuse them of being a double agent.
4. Weaker Speaker Read More
Mistermayor has said he will delay his swearing-in as lieutenant governor until after new Board of Supervisors members assume office, thus preventing the current board from appointing an interim mayor. However, it is wrong to think such a cute trick will spare us from the drama and fiascoes of choosing the next mayor. Read More
Mistermayor is determined to have some fun in his final days as our chief executive. He’s been toying with us about whether he’ll delay his swearing-in as lieutenant governor to allow the incoming Board of Supervisors to choose an interim mayor. Of course, Swearing-In-Gate isn’t the only way for Newsom to scandalously punctuate his tenure.
Allow me to suggest another: appointing three people to the elections task force before he leaves office. Read More
Forget the Board of Supervisors and its endless imitation of student government on steroids. These days, the real action is at the meetings of the Recreation and Park Commission. The commission meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. in City Hall. Mark your calendars. Read More
The Board of Supervisors will vote today to override Mistermayor’s veto of Supervisor Eric Mar’s ban on toys in kids’ meals. Mistermayor’s message accompanying the veto read in part: “We must continue pursuing real strategies against childhood obesity, but parents, not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it comes to spending their own money.” Read More
‘Allowing noncitizens to vote is not only unconstitutional in California, it clearly dilutes the promise of citizenship,” U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in 2004 when San Franciscans were considering a proposition that would have allowed parents of children in the San Francisco Unified School District to vote in Board of Education elections. It failed, but the exact same measure is on this November’s ballot as Proposition D. Read More
Proposition H on the November ballot would forbid city elected officials from being a member of a party county central committee. That it was put on the ballot by Mistermayor — himself an elected official who sits on the country central committee of the Democratic Party by virtue of being the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor — is not even my favorite part of this proposition. (Other elected officials who also sit on the Democratic County Central Committee include supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, David Chiu and Eric Mar.) Read More
Propositions J and K are both hotel tax measures. They are next to each other on the ballot, and each has similar provisions. Also, if both measures pass, the one that gets the most votes wins. Confused yet? Read More
In December 2009, KPIX (Ch. 5) did a story about “serial inebriates” in the Haight who were becoming more “threatening, territorial and psychotic.” At the time, police Capt. Teresa Barrett said that the Police Department was looking at how other jurisdictions deal with the same problem and saw that Tacoma, Wash., and Berkeley each have laws against sitting or lying down on public sidewalks. Read More
‘I think as popular as foot beats are, I think our [police] chief, frankly, is just as popular,” Supervisor Bevan Dufty said right before the Board of Supervisors elected, over Dufty’s objection, to put Proposition M on November’s ballot. Read More