‘Please help me explain this to my client,” the e-mail said. Usually, messages from this particular friend involve our shared love of inappropriate cartoons, but this one obviously was different. He was working for a developer who wanted to take advantage of some affordable-housing financial incentives offered by The City and was baffled at some of the provisions that any contract must contain. I started digging into the issue and found the following: Read More
Probably because they knew I would be there anyway, I was asked by the San Francisco Young Democrats to be the moderator for a series of debates among candidates for supervisor seats. Thus far, we have hosted a forum for candidates in districts 6 and 10. (We’ll be doing one for District 8 on Sept. 22.)
On Monday, I also moderated a Distract 6 debate sponsored by the South Beach/Mission Bay Merchants Association. Read More
With Muni operators getting salary increases this week to the tune of $8 million, it’s worth remembering for a moment how this mandatory-raise situation came about. Read More
‘I congratulate the mayor of San Francisco,” Supervisor Chris Daly said at Tuesday’s final budget vote. And he was right. Two of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s pet projects — Kindergarten 2 College savings accounts and a home for Homeless Connect facilities — were restored to the budget, and the rest of the $44 million that the board managed to put back in the spending plan was for “mom and apple pie” items like violence prevention and children’s services. Read More
At Monday’s City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee meeting, Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier, John Avalos and Carmen Chu heard testimony about Alioto-Pier’s proposal for San Francisco to implement “Laura’s Law.” That law allows a civil court to order an outpatient treatment program for mentally ill people who refuse treatment, yet exhibit violent behavior toward themselves or others. Read More
Supervisor Chris Daly is sponsoring a City Charter amendment that would require the mayor to attend a Board of Supervisors meeting once a month to engage in a public Q-and-A session.
It should. This is his third attempt at forcing the issue of “Mayor Question Time.” Read More
It seems like only yesterday the appropriately named Moody’s raised The City’s credit rating for lease revenue bonds from Aa3 to Aa2. Actually, it was August 2008 and The City had just completed a budget cycle. Now, we’re back down to Aa3, which is apparently a financial hieroglyph for “negative.” Read More
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor John Avalos proposed a 5-cent tax on boozy beverages sold in San Francisco. The money collected would pay for alcohol-related services and expenses borne by The City. This would be in addition to state taxes of $3.30 per gallon on spirits and 20 cents per gallon on wine and beer. Read More
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, there were almost five hours of public comment on the resolution condemning Israel for raiding a flotilla headed for Gaza. The speakers seemed about evenly split between the pro-Palestine and pro-Israel factions. Aside from a few outbursts (one from Supervisor Chris Daly) and some errant clapping, the meeting was remarkably civil. Did I mention it was a billion hours long? It was. Read More
On Tuesday, California voters determined who will face off in November for key state offices, and San Francisco names had a big day.
Governor Read More
At the Jan. 9, 2008, ceremony where he was sworn in as mayor for a second term, Gavin Newsom announced, “We will create baby savings bonds to deposit $500 for every new resident born in our city.”
The baby-bond money would be used to pay for college or first-time homeownership. That initiative never made it out of the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee, mostly because, in 2008, San Francisco’s deficit was about $350 million. Read More
Per the request of Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier on Monday, the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee held a hearing on whether San Francisco should adopt a law that would allow courts to order treatment for mentally ill persons before they become dangerous. Read More
For reasons I don’t fully understand, and probably owing to someone else’s last-minute cancellation, last week I was invited by General Manager Phil Ginsburg to be a judge at a Recreation and Park Department talent show.
That my singing sounds like a kangaroo trying to speak English didn’t stop me from eagerly accepting the invitation. Hey, if Rush Limbaugh can judge a beauty pageant ... Read More
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi just launched an effort to put a measure on November’s ballot that would increase the amount of money city employees must pay for retirement benefits. Recently, he sat down with me to discuss the initiative.What exactly does your proposal do? Read More
Proposition G on the June 8 ballot is a policy statement saying: “Dear Quentin Kopp, the San Francisco stop on the high-speed rail line is going to be that Transbay Terminal spot on Mission and First streets that we’ve had our heart set on for years. Seriously, stop mucking this up.” Read More