Pending Candlestick fixes, mayor headed to Hong Kong

Mayor Ed Lee is thinking about taking a holiday trip to Hong Kong, but first he wants to take care of some important business — football business, to be exact.

“I would like to get a few days between Christmas and New Years,” Lee said on Thursday. “I just want to make sure we’re handling the issues with Candlestick.”

On Tuesday, Lee described two power outages during a much-anticipated Monday Night Football matchup between the 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers as a “national embarrassment.”

On Thursday, letters were sent by the mayor and utility PG&E assuring the 49ers that steps are being taken to ensure a similar outage doesn’t occur during an upcoming playoff game at the aging stadium, which The City owns and leases to the team. Both entities reported the outages were caused by problems with their respective infrastructure — an overhead line failure on PG&E’s part, and a flawed auxiliary power switch managed by The City inside the stadium.

The mayor was in Hong Kong around this time last year, just as San Francisco’s political heavies were pointing to Lee as a serious contender to serve out the remaining year of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s second term. Newsom had been elected the state’s lieutenant governor just weeks earlier.

Lee’s historic Jan. 8 inauguration — when he became The City’s first Asian-American mayor — cut his trip short.

“I never got to finish that,” Lee said of his sojourn to the Far East. “So maybe I’ll hop a flight or something.”

Elected in November to a full four-year term, Lee will be sworn in again this Jan. 8.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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