There’s nothing like goodbyes to bring everyone together.
Supervisor Scott Wiener is on his way out of City Hall, after serving on Monday for the last time on the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee.
Some of his colleagues already got a jumpstart on the goodbyes that are expected to continue during today’s full Board of Supervisors meeting, which will be Wiener’s last before being sworn into his new job Monday as the District 11 state Senator, representing San Francisco and northern San Mateo County.
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Wiener is the moderate on the board who most often has faced fierce criticism from progressive board members and their allies. But on Monday he received nothing but praise from his progressive colleagues during the land use hearing.
“It’s been a pleasure serving with our colleague Supervisor Wiener on the Land Use Committee for the last year,” said progressive leader Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who was elected as District 3 supervisor a year ago after previously serving in the post. “This is his last land use committee. I just want to acknowledge that and say it’s been a pleasure serving with you, Scott.”
Supervisor John Avalos, a progressive, noted that “we didn’t always see eye to eye” but he credited Wiener for bringing the board to new heights.
“You brought us to a whole other standard of engagement with each other,” Avalos said. “We actually worked a lot harder to decipher and sift through a lot of policy based on your work and based on the tensions that have been created in creating legislation that I think have moved The City forward, in particular around how we address development and transportation.”
Avalos continued to say that Wiener’s passion around transit even got the mayor to pay more attention to transportation needs. “You came in with a huge emphasis on transportation that actually moved [Mayor] Ed Lee forward to actually be more attentive to our transportation needs that no mayor before has ever done.”
Avalos added, “The City is better for it. We are in a better place than we were before your being here.”
Supervisor Malia Cohen was most often on Wiener’s side in local politics. “He has joined me in this committee for six years. It’s been a pleasure to serve and work with you,” Cohen said, addressing Wiener. “For the most part, I think we’ve seen eye to eye.”
In response to the goodbyes, Wiener said, “It’s been an honor to serve on this committee for six years. I feel very lucky that for the entirety of my six years on the Board of Supervisors I’ve been able to serve on a committee that I am so passionate about, around the housing and transportation issues. It’s been a deep honor.”
He continued, “This committee is not always an easy one to serve on. Issues have flowed through this committee that have been unbelievably contentious.”
Some of those contentious issues over the years in which Wiener battled with progressives during the committee hearings included regulations over Airbnb, closing down parks at night, and increasing affordable housing requirements for developers tied to the June passage of Proposition C.
Wiener was elected as the District 8 member of the board in January 2011. Six years later, after a long and heated contest against Supervisor Jane Kim to serve on the state Senate during the past year, Wiener is leaving to serve in the seat held by termed-out state Sen. Mark Leno.
As of Monday, Wiener prevailed in the contest over Kim with 51 percent of the votes, or 209,147 votes, to Kim’s 49 percent, or 200,890 votes.