Supes resume assault on Conroy

The former head of The City’s emergency planning, who has consistently come under attack by the Board of Supervisors, was once again in its cross hairs Monday as they recommended to eliminate her latest position at the Office of Emergency Services and Homeland Security.

Annemarie Conroy was appointed in 2004 by Mayor Gavin Newsom as director of OESHS, the city department charged with planning for major catastrophes. During her tenure as the leader of OESHS, she was often criticized for lack of qualifications and this spring, a scathing city audit of the agency revealed significant deficiencies and once again called into question Conroy’s experience and expertise.

Amid the controversy, Newsom appointed Laura Phillips, a former Motorola executive, to run The City’s Department of Emergency Communications and oversee OESHS. Meanwhile, The Board of Supervisors approved legislation in October restructuring the department’s chain of command that clearly positioned Phillips as Conroy’s boss.

Phillips appointed Conroy on Nov. 12 to a $250,000 position as chairwoman of the Super Urban Area Security Initiative committee, a group of representatives from Bay Area cities who will decide how regional homeland security dollars are spent.

On Monday, the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee recommended that Conroy’s new position be killed.

Conroy said her position was “a high-level management position that would be attending meetings almost constantly, always engaging in some sort of discussion with federal government, state government high-level people.”

Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, however, disagreed. He called the position unnecessary, noting that other Bay Area cities do not have a dedicated position that simply sits on the regional committee.

“It’s usually the head of the department who serves on it. So we’ve basically created a very expensive component to that and that didn’t seem like a good use of funds,” Peskin said.

Newsom originally appointed Conroy as head of OESHS in a political position swap that gave him a much-needed ally on the Board of Supervisors early in his term. Newsom moved Conroy from chief of Treasure Island to OESHS, replaced her with then-Supervisor Tony Hall and appointed Sean Elsbernd to Hall’s seat on the board. Hall was later forced to resign from his position after nasty public battles with the Treasure Island Board and Elsbernd was re-elected.

Newsom remains supportive of Conroy.

“It’s unfortunate to see the Board of Supervisors attack someone that by any objective measure has done a good job,” mayoral spokesman Peter Ragone said Tuesday.

Peskin, however, denied that the vote had anything to do specifically with Conroy.

The Board of Supervisors will vote today on whether to uphold the committee’s recommendation.

jsabatini@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPolitics

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

Basketball (Shutterstock)
SI alum Begovich gets his moment, but Stanford falls on Senior Day

MAPLES PAVILION — Generally speaking, Stanford’s home finale on Saturday afternoon, a… Continue reading

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, has been asked to help secure an agreement between the school district and teacher’s union. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
 <ins></ins>
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

California is set to receive supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Courtesy photo)
California could receive 380K doses of new J&J COVID vaccine next week

California could receive 380,300 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

Most Read