Mayoral appointment power safe after proposed ballot measure fails to gain support

The power of the mayor to make appointments for vacancies on the Board of Supervisors will remain intact after a ballot measure proposal to strip the power failed to gain board support Tuesday.

Supervisor John Avalos fell short in receiving the six votes needed to place the Let's Elect Our Elected Officials Act on the November ballot, which he said would ensure a separation of powers, restrict the power of incumbency to elections and curb power plays by small groups of people.

But a majority of board members were not convinced, saying the current system of the mayor's appointment authority, though not perfect, would work better.

Under current rules, when a vacancy occurs on the Board of Supervisors, the mayor appoints someone to fill that seat and at a subsequent election, that person would need to run for election to retain the position.

Avalos' proposal would have allowed the mayor to pick an interim placeholder who couldn't run for election. Additionally, a special election would be held within about four months to fill the seat.

Supervisor Katy Tang, who was appointed to her seat, said, “I do feel that the current system does work.” She suggested that an interim supervisor would be “very dangerous” since they would not be held accountable to the voters.

Avalos, along with supervisors David Campos, David Chiu, Eric Mar and Jane Kim supported placing the measure on the ballot.

appointment powerBay Area NewsBoard of SupervisorsGovernment & PoliticsPoliticsSupervisor John Avalos

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Hyphen hosts a group show at Space Gallery in San Francisco in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Albert Law/Pork Belly Studio)
What’s in a name? Asian American magazine fights to keep its identity

An investor-backed media group laid claim to the moniker of SF’s long-running Hyphen magazine, sparking a conversation about writing over community history

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Most Read