Editorial: A final word on The City’s ballot

As Election Day draws near, voters find themselves focusing on various ballot measures, both state and local. San Francisco asks approval of 11 measures, most of them substantive and some dangerously frivolous. Tuesday, we offered our recommendations on five of those measures. Today we assess the remaining six:

Proposition E adds another 10 percent tax to park in The City. Already the municipal government levies a 25 percent tax on parking rates — an exaction that parking lot and garage owners do not need. And, of course, it would significantly stiffen the daily cost for shoppers and commuters who would certainly have the costs passed down to them — not a good move if City Hall sincerely wants to encourage business activity. No on E.

Proposition F would mandate paid sick leave for all employees working in The City. While we applaud the good intentions of the young activists who put this on the ballot, it’s patently clear they don’t understand how businesses operating on the margins survive. This is not the way to create more jobs. No on F.

Proposition G would require conditional use permits for chain retailers who want to open for business. The measure effectively hands anti-“big box” zealots a tool to keep such stores away from consumers, especially poorer consumers, who benefit from savings at the check-out stands. It’s deceptively labeled the “Small Business Protection Act,” but it’s just plain anti-business, empowering politicians and malcontents needlessly. No on G.

Proposition H would amend the city and county administrative code section pertaining to rent — already laden with impenetrable language restricting the rights of property owners. The new language would require owners of even the smallest numbers of rental units to pay even more of their tenants’ relocation fees should they convert those units to other uses. Good intention. Wrong direction. Restrictions should be lifted, enabling owners to invest in more available housing. No on H.

Proposition I would require The City’s mayor to appear before the Board of Supervisors at least once monthly to answer questions. Somebody’s watched too much of the British House of Commons on C-Span. A “questions” period has superficial appeal, but it more likely allocates valuable time to obstructionist showboaters. No on I.

We dispensed with Proposition J in Tuesday’s editorial, but let’s just say again that a nonbinding measure calling for the impeachment of the president and the vice president is a self-caricaturing distraction from the true work of The City. Back to Earth, please. No, again, on J.

Proposition K would “explore” The City’s affordable housing program in search of means to hold rents for senior and disabled tenants to below 30 percent of their incomes. We’re not sure managers can find those economies, but it’s a compassionate enterprise to try. Yes on K.

Part of the San Francisco Examiner's 2006 Election Coverage.

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