Appointee proposal doesn’t make cut

A charter amendment that would ensure those convicted of felonies or recently involved in political campaigns are not appointed to several key city commissions was kept off the ballot — again.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, who introduced the charter amendment, was unable to secure the six votes from the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to place it on the February 2008 ballot.

Alioto-Pier had introduced a similar version in 2005. She has not given up and has reintroduced the charter amendment, hoping now to get it on the June 2008 ballot.

The charter amendment would place restrictions on who can be appointed to such city bodies as the Elections Commission and the Ethics Commission.

Alioto-Pier said that recent developments, such as suspended District 4 Supervisor Ed Jew, highlight the need for such restrictions.

Alioto-Pier said the Ethics Commission is the only oversight body for the Board of Supervisors and it should be “as apolitical and impartial as possible.”

The restrictions would prevent the appointment of someone who within the previous two years was involved in campaign work, such as a candidate for elected office or a registered lobbyist. They would also prevent the appointment of anyone convicted of a felony for violatingelection laws or such things as theft of public funds during the past 10 years or had a professional license revoked.

The Board of Supervisors appoints one of its five members to the Ethics Commission.

Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who voted against the charter amendment on Tuesday, said “I think there are sufficient laws already around all of that to protect the public. With all due respect, I think she is well intended, but I think it’s just an extra layer that we don’t need.” He added, “If someone is really not appropriate, they are not going to be appointed.”

On Tuesday, the charter amendment was defeated in a 5-5 vote. Supervisors Ammiano, Aaron Peskin, Chris Daly, Sophie Maxwell and Ross Mikarimi opposed it. Supervisor Jake McGoldrick was absent.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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