Supervisor Daly’s conduct measure suffers solid defeat

A proposal to ban sexual or romantic relationships between city bosses and employees was soundly defeated at the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday after critics called it unnecessary.

Introduced in August by Supervisor Chris Daly, the legislation was seen as a veiled reference to Mayor Gavin Newsom’s acknowledgment earlier this year that he had a sexual affair with his former appointment secretary.

The Board of Supervisors defeated the bill in a 10-1 vote Tuesday, with Daly casting the only “yes” vote.

Daly never referred to the affair during the meeting and called the legislation “meritorious.”

He was not, however, able to secure the support of The City’s largest labor union. Daly told his board colleagues that he wanted a continuance to have time to try to bring the labor union on board, but his request was defeated in a 6-5 vote.

The legislation would have prohibited managers from pursuing a sexual or romantic relationship with an employee under their watch. A violation could have resulted in job termination.

In making his case for the bill, Daly said that during the last five years The City has paid out about $1.5 million to settle sexual harassment lawsuits.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd said current local, state and federal laws on sexual harassment are sufficient.

“If we could go back in time and we had this law in place, we wouldn’t have had to spend any of that money? Come on, let’s be serious,” hesaid.

Daly responded by saying that at least The City would have the ability to hold someone accountable for the wrongdoing.

Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval also said sufficient protections are already in place and “to enact an outright ban on, essentially, romance, is not what most people do.”

MUNICIPAL ID PROGRAM ADOPTED:

In a 10-1 vote, a city program that would issue identification cards to illegal immigrants and other San Francisco residents was adopted. The cards are meant to ensure access to city services and increase the number of crimes reported. Elsbernd opposed the program.

GOLDEN GATE PARK ROAD CLOSURE APPROVED:

In an 8-3 vote, a closure of a stretch of roadway to cars on Saturdays in Golden Gate Park was approved. The closure will run from the first Saturday in April to the last Saturday in September. John F. Kennedy Drive will be closed from Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive (near the entrance to the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences) to Transverse Drive. It’s about half of the 1.7 miles of the road that is closed on

Sundays.

RETIREE MEDICAL BENEFITS DISCUSSED:

Supervisors convened in closed session to discuss with The City’s human-resources director a potential charter amendment to address the cost and funding of retiree medical benefits.

jsabatini@examiner.com 

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