City Hall won’t lose Kit Kat bars from vending machines after all

Turns out Supervisor Aaron Peskin won’t lose access to his favorite junk food at City Hall as he had previously despaired – and, for that matter, Supervisor Mark Farrell won’t be able to keep candy away from his children there either.

Here’s why.

Farrell said one of the main reasons he introduced legislation to ban junk food and sugary drinks from vending machines on city-owned property was to prevent his children from buying M&Ms when they visit him at City Hall.

The legislation was approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors in a 10-1 vote – only opposed by Peskin.

But there’s a caveat. The law doesn’t impact existing contracts, and it turns out the lease for the vending machines at City Hall was recently renewed for another four years, according to an email sent by real estate director John Updike to Peskin on Wednesday, the day after the board vote.

Updike explained that since the contract was renewed ahead of the board vote for City Hall’s ground floor Mint Café and vending machines, the junk food will remain available until Oct. 1, 2020.

“So do not despair, you can enjoy your favorite junk food for 4 more years,” Updike wrote in the email to Peskin.

In making his case against the legislation Tuesday, Peskin said, “I, for one, want to be able to go downstairs and get my Kit Kat bar, and apparently folks at the Department of Emergency Management want to be able to get their Kit Kat bars. They’ve been exempted. So at a minimum, can we exempt City Hall so I can get my Kit Kat bar?”

Farrell granted the 911 dispatchers an outright exemption after these workers pushed for continued access to junk food, citing the need for energy drinks.

It’s unclear why Farrell didn’t provide the good news to Peskin during the board meeting that the Kit Kat-loving supervisor would have a four-year reprieve to enjoy his candy.

“Supervisor Farrell’s Office was made aware of that when the legislation was being drafted some months ago (I didn’t want them surprised by this fact),” Updike wrote.

That four-year extension also undermines one of Farrell’s main reasons he said he was proposing the law in the first place, which was to shield his kids from M&M candies when they visit him at City Hall.

“The fact that my children love coming to visit Daddy at City Hall partly because they want to go to the M&M machine at the bottom of the basement is not something I want to continue to encourage here at City Hall,” Farrell said to his colleagues moments before the vote.

But Peskin noted Wednesday, “They’ll still be able to do that long after my colleague’s term ends.”

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