Board President Walton issues committee assignments

Haney to serve as budget chair, Melgar as land use chair

Two days after being elected president of the Board of Supervisors, Shamann Walton has performed one of his first duties — assigning his colleagues to serve on committees.

Supervisor Matt Haney, one of Walton’s staunch supporters for board president, picked up one of the most influential committee assignments, the chair of the board’s Budget and Finance Committee, a role previously held by former Supervisor Sandra Fewer.

The position comes at a very challenging time for San Francisco with an economy struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic and The City facing a significant budget deficit.

In response to being named to the post, Haney wrote on Twitter that “our budget is a moral document that reflects our values.”

“Now more than ever we need to support those who have been most impacted by this pandemic and economic crisis,” he wrote.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai will serve as the budget committee’s vice chair and Supervisor Gordon Mar has a seat on it as well. When the committee meets as five members during city budget deliberations, those two additional members will be Walton and Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

Another one of the most important committees is the board’s Land Use and Transportation Committee. Supervisor Myrna Melgar, the newest member to the board and a former Planning Commissioner, was named chair of the land use committee. Melgar nominated Walton for the board presidency on Friday.

Walton named Supervisor Dean Preston as the land use committee’s vice chair. Supervisor Aaron Peskin will remain a member of the committee but was previously its chair.

Peskin, who vied against Walton for presidency, will chair the board’s Rules Committee, an important position since this committee reviews the mayor’s appointments to various bodies before they get to the full board for a vote.

“As always, I’m ready to serve to the best of my ability wherever assigned,” Peskin told the San Francisco Examiner. “I’ve played pretty much every position on this team and am fine with my appointments and looking forward to discharging my duties.”

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman and the other newcomer to the board, Supervisor Connie Chan will serve along with Peskin on the Rules Committee.

Mandelman, who was initally backing Peskin for board president, will no longer serve on the board’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee.

Mandelman told the Examiner that “it was an honor and privilege to chair Public Safety and Neighborhood Services over the last two years.”

“Frankly those are the issues I am hearing about the most from my constituents, and I will continue to focus my efforts on homelessness, mental illness and public safety regardless of my committee appointments,” Mandelman said.

The chair of the board’s Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee went to Supervisor Gordon Mar and the board’s most moderate member, Supervisor Catherine Stefani, was named its vice chair. It is Stefani’s only committee assignment. They are joined by Haney.

Supervisor Dean Preston was named chair of the board’s Government Audit and Oversight Committee at a time when City Hall is reeling from an ongoing FBI probe into public corruption. Chan will serve as the vice chair and Mandelman was named its third member.

Two supervisors serve on the board’s Joint City, School District and City College Select Committee. Walton named Ronen chair of this committee at a time when city officials and the school district are debating how best to reopen schools, which are closed during the pandemic. Safai was named the vice chair and Haney an alternate member.

“We are a capable body of 11 members – no matter where we are assigned we will be fine,” Safai said. “It’s time to get to work.”

Check back for updates.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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