Anti-violence funds held up

Siding with budget analyst, supes vote to reserve money that mayor had requested

Mayor Gavin Newsom’s request for $2.3 million in anti-violence funding was put on hold Tuesday by a unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors.

The bulk of the funding was earmarked to pay for ramped-up police enforcement in high-crime areas, which began in mid-August.

The supervisors sided with a budget analyst’s report that recommended putting the money on reserve until such a time that the relevant public safety departments have exceeded their budgets. Newsom’s request for additional money was considered unusual since it came so early in the fiscal year, which began July 1.

Newsom’s supplemental included $660,000 in police overtime costs incurred before October, and $880,000 in expected overtime costs from October until December.

“It turns out that despite the mayor’s frantic request, the Police Department is actually under budget and is currently projected to finish the year with a surplus,” Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin said. “So rather than throw more money at them so they’ll go blow it on overtime we figure we will continue to monitor — as the budget analyst recommended — their level of spending for the year, and if they need it we can releaseit, and if they don’t we won’t.”

Mayoral spokesman Peter Ragone said, “We tried to do something different this year, which was to be up front early in the fiscal year about our needs. [The police] will need the money. It’s just simple.”

In other action

FOOT PATROLS APPROVED: Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi’s legislation requiring regular foot patrols in eight of the 10 police station districts in San Francisco was approved with a final vote of 7-3. The legislation would become effective Jan. 1. It remains unclear if Newsom will sign or veto the legislation.

ORACLE CONVENTION’S FINANCIAL IMPACT EXPLORED: Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin requested documentation of the financial impacts of this week’s four-day Oracle OpenWorld Convention, held at Moscone Center, which resulted in the closure of Howard Street. The convention is expected to put $60 million in the local economy and draw 42,000 to San Francisco.

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