In the first meeting back from a four-week long legislative recess, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday appointed retired San Mateo Superior Court Judge Quentin Kopp to the Ethics Commission and proposed providing $100,000 to an Italian town devastated by an earthquake last month.
Kopp, 87, will begin serving on the Ethics Commission now that the board voted 10-1 to confirm his nomination to serve on the body that oversees the activities of lobbyists, contractors and politicians.
Ethics Commissioner Peter Keane previously told the San Francisco Examiner he had encouraged Kopp to apply for the vacancy and said Kopp would boost the profile of the body and help ferret out wrongdoing.
The Ethics Commission is seen as elevating its function at City Hall through the hiring of a new executive director earlier this year, receiving a funding boost and now with Kopp’s appointment.
Supervisor John Avalos was the lone vote opposing the appointment. “I like him better working his brand of politics in an open way and not put out to pasture on the Ethics Commission,” Avalos told the Examiner after the vote.
Avalos had previously told the Examiner that he had some past political disputes with Kopp that made him disinclined to support him, and he also noted how Kopp didn’t endorse him for the mayor’s race in 2011 but instead endorsed Public Defender Jeff Adachi. Avalos came in second behind Mayor Ed Lee.
Also Tuesday, Supervisor Aaron Peskin introduced legislation that would provide $100,000 in city funding to those impacted by the Aug. 24 earthquake that killed hundreds in the Italian town of Amatrice.
Peskin explained that he attended a fundraiser for victims of the earthquake last week at the Italian American Athletic Club in North Beach, a neighborhood he represents. “I was asked to identify how our city could help in the relief efforts and this is my answer to that,” Peskin said. He also noted that San Francisco received outside assistance when faced with its own earthquake tragedies both in 1906 and in 1989.
“We know the outpouring and largesse that we received from all over the world. We have a history of coming to the aid of cities around the world,” Peskin said. “What comes around goes around.”
Also related to seismic safety, Peskin requested a hearing on building standards in the wake of revelations that Millennium Tower, located at 301 Mission St. in the Yerba Buena area near the Transbay Tower site, is sinking and tilting, perhaps due to the construction design flaw of not using piles down to the bedrock, but shorter less-costly piles.
“I’d like to understand the intersection between local and state building requirements and ensure The City is doing everything we can do to make sure everything is being done to the highest standards,” Peskin said.
Tuesday’s resumption of political business comes in the throes of a highly charged political season heading into November, when elections will determine the board’s political balance as well as who will represent The City in the state Senate: Supervisor Jane Kim or Supervisor Scott Wiener.