Elections chief responds to request to remove measure from ballot

It didn’t take long for John Arntz, head of elections for San Francisco, to respond to Monday’s request to pull the controversial foot patrol measure from the November ballot.

His response was short and sweet: No. “I will not be taking any action in response to your letter,” Arntz says. His logic was equally as short and sweet. He said there was no amendment to Proposition M, like the coalition had stated. “The version of Proposition M filed with the Department of Elections is identical to the version attached to the Board of Supervisors agenda for its July 27 2010 meeting.”

The Coalition for Civil Sidewalks — proponents of a sit-lie ordinance which is also on the ballot — sent a letter to Arntz on Monday asking that he pull Proposition M from the ballot, the measure that would require the captains of all 10 police stations to work with merchants and community members to establish specific foot beats.

The coalition claimed that the Board of Supervisors violated San Francisco elections code when it added a “poison pill” to the measure, rushing to get it on the November ballot.

The “poison pill” the group is referring to is a provision that if the foot-beat legislation receives more votes than Mayor Gavin Newsom’s ordinance to ban sitting and lying on city sidewalks, the sit-lie ordinance — known as Measure L — will be nullified.

 

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