Supes voice concern about formation of a Civic Center benefit district

A plan to create a Civic Center Benefit District to improve public safety, make those attending the city’s prized art venues more comfortable, and better maintain the area has drawn concerns that the government could outvote other property owners.

It takes a weighted vote of 30 percent to initiate formation of a community benefit district, which, once formed, requires property owners in the district to a pay an annual fee.

But there are enough government-owned parcels in the proposed district that the government itself could vote to initiate formation of the district even if all other property owners voted against it.

That fact didn’t sit well with members of the Board of Supervisor Budget and Finance Committee. On Wednesday, they postponed a vote on legislation introduced by Mayor Gavin Newsom that would authorize the mayor to vote on behalf of the city’s properties. The committee instead opted to wait for the results of the private property owners, which are expected to come in on Oct. 8.

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd said he would not support moving ahead with formation of the district unless a majority of the private property owners want to.

Doing so would be “too much like Big Brother imposing on the poor sucker who owns private property near by,” he said

“We control the fate of whether or not there is 30 percent. If we say yes in any way every privately property owner with in the district could vote no but we have enough weight to make it happen anyway,” Elsbernd said.

Voting on the legislation would have been “putting the cart before the horse, the tail wagging the dog,” Supervisor John Avalos said.

“I think it makes sense that we see what happens in the private sector and see what the temperature is out there,” Avalos said.

Supervisor Chris Daly, whose district includes the Civic Center, wrote a letter to the committee in opposition of the legislation. Approving the legislation “will unduly influence” the process, he said.

Bay Area NewsGavin NewsomGovernment & PoliticsPoliticssean elsberndUnder the Dome

Just Posted

Niners defensive lineman Joey Bosa played a major role in stopping the Eagles in a Week 2 San Francisco victory. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
What we learned from Niners beating the Eagles

By Mychael Urban Special to The Examiner Is your glass half-empty? Niners… Continue reading

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Most Read