Supes rush to redo amendments before ballot filing deadline

With just hours left before the filing deadline, four San Francisco supervisors fine-tuned language in four new city charter amendments they hope to put before the voters this November.

While seven such amendments have been filed with the Board of Supervisors in the last three months, four were filed Tuesday, the last day possible to make the November ballot.

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick proposed an amendment that would change The City’s voting cycle to match state and federal elections. He said he hoped the move would improve voter turnout and reduce costs by reducing the number of purely local elections. The amendment would have the mayor, sheriff and district attorney run for five-year terms in 2007, reducing the terms back to four years in the 2012 election and those following. The same would happen with the offices of city attorney and treasurer in 2009, bringing the terms back to four years in 2014.

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell introduced a proposed amendment to create a fund that would be used to acquire land for new public parks and to improve the condition of existing parks. The amendment would also fix a base annual level of funding for the Recreation and Park Department. A draft of the amendment identifies a funding source as a quarter-percent sales tax hike.

An amendment proposed by Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier calls for a set of minimum qualifications for The City’s top emergency official. That amendment would mandate that whoever directs local emergency services have at least 10 years’ experience as an emergency responder, five of which must be in management.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin proposed an amendment that would recalculate city officials’ salaries, updating the formula used in those calculations to be weighted against averages of comparable offices in four other counties.

Three amendments were proposed earlier this year, including one from Alioto-Pier calling for district elections, term limits and runoff voting for members of the San Francisco Board of Education. Another from Alioto-Pier would amend the charter to allow supervisors and other board members and commissioners to participate in meetings via teleconferencing if they are pregnant or nursing.

After they are submitted to the board, amendment proposals are heard in the board’s Rules Committee. Once they pass committee, they move to the full board, where they must receive at least six votes to make it to the November ballot.

amartin@examiner.com

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