Filing deadline for February ballot quietly passes by

The deadline for initiatives to be placed on the February 2008 ballot came and went with no submissions, a clear break from what has occurred in the past when there have been a number of last-minute measures submitted.

While there was speculation of possible ballot measures, when it came down to Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline for Mayor Gavin Newsom or at least four members of the Board of Supervisors to submit them to the Elections Department, all was quiet.

What this means is that the biggest local issue facing voters at the polls February 2008 will be the $185 million park bond, which the Board of Supervisors voted last month to place on the ballot, and has the support of Newsom. Most of the money would fund neighborhood park repairs, while $35.5 million would go toward waterfront repairs on PortCommission land.

What voters will not have a chance to vote on is the so-called Sensible Parking Initiative, which had been filed for the February 2008 ballot with four signatures from members of the Board of Supervisors. At the last opportunity to do so, Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin pulled it from the ballot Tuesday.

The parking initiative grew out of a compromise struck earlier this year between Peskin and downtown business interests in exchange for their not campaigning against Peskin’s Proposition A or campaigning for Proposition H, both of which are before voters Tuesday. Prop. A would provide Muni with more money, increase the power of the Metropolitan Transportation Agency, which oversees Muni, and restrict the allowance of additional parking beyond what is currently permitted. Prop. H is a pro-parking measure, which would dramatically increase the amount of additional parking allowed.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, one of the four to sign on to the parking measure, said, “It was a good measure. It was too bad they pulled their support.”

jsabatini@examiner.com

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