The Board of Supervisors Rules Committee approved on Oct. 5 Mayor London Breed’s appointment of former state Sen. John Burton, right, to the Port Commission. (SFGOVTV courtesy art

The Board of Supervisors Rules Committee approved on Oct. 5 Mayor London Breed’s appointment of former state Sen. John Burton, right, to the Port Commission. (SFGOVTV courtesy art

Appointment of John Burton to Port Commission met with praise

Former state Sen. John Burton’s mayoral appointment to the Port Commission sailed toward approval Monday.

The 87-year-old, who also served as chairman of the California Democratic Party from April 2009 through May 2017, expressed concerns over the economy of the waterfront due to the COVID-19 pandemic during a Board of Supervisors Rules Committee hearing Monday.

He said the Port of San Francisco has changed over the decades and is now more of a place for tourists to visit and an area for real estate development.

“It is kind different than the Port that I grew up with, but I am very interested in learning from the other members and from the staff and see how we could just improve the Port as far as economics are concerned because, as you know, the Port does not receive money from the general budget, it’s got to be self-sustaining, and with the COVID and if you rely on tourism and restaurants, self-sustaining is damn near impossible,” Burton said.

Rules Committee members on Monday praised Mayor London Breed’s nomination of Burton, who will fill the seat previously held by real estate broker Victor Makras. His term would end on May 1, 2024.

“I can’t imagine a more capable and experienced person to serve on this commission,” said Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

Burton is responsible for returning the waterfront to local control through the Burton Act of 1968, when he was an assembly member. Among other changes, that Act mandated the creation of the Port Commission to which he is now being appointed.

“When I first got interested in the Port we were a port,” Burton recalled. “We were a seafaring area. But over the years a lot of our shipping went over to Oakland because our piers were what they call finger piers and couldn’t deal with the containerization. And now it’s almost kind of a tourist attraction and a real estate development almost.”

Supervisor Catherine Stefani said that “there are so many issues that we need to address” at the Port, including climate change and the use of the funds from a 2018 bond to adapt to sea level rise.

“We can benefit from your passion, your experience and your knowledge of San Francisco,” Stefani said.

The full board is expected to confirm the appointment on Oct. 20.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsPoliticssan francisco news

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

Just Posted

Construction in the Better Market Street Project between Fifth and Eighth streets is expected to break ground in mid-2021.<ins></ins>
SFMTA board to vote on Better Market Street changes

Agency seeks to make up for slimmed-down plan with traffic safety improvements

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Currey (30) tallied 26 points and seven assists at Monday night’s game against the Lakers. (Chris Victorio for the S.F. Examiner).
Warriors overcome 19-point deficit to stun defending-champion Lakers 115-113

Ladies and gentlemen, the Golden State Warriors are officially back. Stephen Curry… Continue reading

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks during an event to name President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team at the Queen Theater on Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)
Kamala Harris to resign from Senate

Bridget Bowman CQ-Roll Call Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign from the… Continue reading

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

Most Read