In the latest political wrangling between the mayor and the Board of Supervisors over the budget, Mayor Gavin Newsom showed his displeasure at a $28 million spending plan authored by Supervisor Chris Daly, an adversary, by returning the bill unsigned.
“I’m not going to spend the money,” Newsom said. “We’re not going to spend money we don’t have.”
Although the Mayor’s Office had originally threatened to veto the spending measure, such action would likely have been symbolic, because it had the required votes of support on the Board of Supervisors to override a veto. Similarly, a letter sent from Newsom to the Board of Supervisors late Friday afternoon, along with the unsigned ordinance, doesn’t carry any action.
Next week, the mayor is scheduled to submit a balanced budget, which will then be released to other city officials and the public on June 1. In recent weeks, the mayor has accused some supervisors of fiscal irresponsibility by submitting more than $50 million of new funding requests this year that would eat up surplus tax money needed to help balance next year’s budget.
Although city budget officials predicted last month that $126.6 million would be left over from this year’s budget, due to higher-than-projected revenues, the Mayor’s Office assumed the money would be rolled over into the budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.
Earlier this month, however, the Board of Supervisors approved 8-to-3 a proposal by Daly to spend $28 million on affordable housing needs, as well as a proposal by Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval to allocate $5 million of the surplus on The City’s Down Payment Assistance Loan Program.
Additionally, Daly has submitted a second request — slated to go before the Board of Supervisors for a vote on Tuesday — to spend $17.6 million of the surplus on seniors, families, children and the disabled.
“He said he’s not going to spend money that he doesn’t have, but this is money that they do have,” said Daly, upon hearing Newsom’s comments. Daly said that once the Board of Supervisors appropriates funds, the mayor is obligated to spend them for those purposes — in other words, Newsom can’t use them to balance next year’s budget.
Daly said he would continue to push through with the official process to get the Mayor’s Office of Housing to release the money.