Lee’s legislation could give voice to SF businesses

For years, many San Francisco politicians, like too many in Sacramento, have believed they could pile regulations and taxes upon local businesses without worrying about the effect it would have on jobs and the economy. The past four years of the Great Recession and its sluggish aftermath have shown that there are consequences to even the best-intended legislation.

A recent Market Watch survey revealed just how bad the situation has become in The City. First the good news: San Francisco is the second-best place in California in which to do business. (San Jose came in first.) But that’s not saying much because California is riddled with business-unfriendly cities.

The bad news is that San Francisco is only the 31st-best place in the nation in which to conduct business out of 102 major cities. The ranking is based on two criteria: company concentration and economic climate. San Francisco finished in the top third mainly due to the number of businesses here.

The really bad news is that The City ranks a pitiful 80th in economic climate, which factors in economic output, personal income growth, unemployment rate and job growth. This world-class city is beaten out by the likes of Bakersfield; Scranton, Pa.; Tucson, Ariz.; Allentown, Pa.; Wichita, Kan.; El Paso, Texas; and Cleveland. On the bright side, San Francisco edged out Fresno.

Clearly, there’s a significant problem, despite the decline in the unemployment rate this year from 9.5 to 7.8 percent. It’s vital, as well as refreshing, that Mayor Ed Lee has made the creation of good-paying jobs his top priority.

He has placed on the June ballot a Charter amendment that would require the city controller to review legislation by the supervisors that could hurt businesses and kill jobs. If the legislation might do economic harm, it would be sent to the Small Business Commission for review and possible development of alternative proposals that might achieve similar results at less cost. The alternative legislation would have been heard by the Board of Supervisors at the same time as the board’s original disputed proposal.

Of course, the amendment’s value will depend on the competence of the small business commissioners, with a 4-3 majority appointed by the mayor. It must be admitted that most San Francisco commissions do not have a reputation for effective accomplishments. Therefore it might be reasonable to try these jobs impact hearings as a pilot test before locking it in as another permanent charter amendment.

But in the end,  anti-job-killer legislation  could be a decent step forward in giving San Francisco businesses a greater voice and a bit more control over their destiny.

editorialsOpinion

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

Demonstrators commemorated the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside S.F. City Hall on June 1, 2020.<ins></ins>
Chauvin verdict: SF reacts after jury finds ex-officer guilty on all charges

San Franciscans were relieved Tuesday after jurors found a former Minneapolis police… Continue reading

San Francisco Unified School District Board member Faauuga Moliga, right, pictured with Superintendent Vincent Matthews on the first day back to classrooms, will be board vice president for the remander of the 2121 term. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faauuga Moliga named as school board vice president to replace Alison Collins

The San Francisco school board on Tuesday selected board member Fauuga Moliga… Continue reading

Legislation by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman would require The City to add enough new safe camping sites, such as this one at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin, to accomodate everyone living on the street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City would create sites for hundreds of tents under new homeless shelter proposal

Advocates say funding better spent on permanent housing

An instructor at Sava Pool teaches children drowning prevention techniques. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Indoor city pools reopen for lap swimming and safety classes

Two of San Francisco’s indoor city pools reopened Tuesday, marking another step… Continue reading

A construction worker rides on top of materials being transported out of the Twin Peaks Tunnel as work continues at West Portal Station on Thursday, August 16, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA’s poor track record on capital projects risks losing ‘public trust’

Supervisors say cost overruns and delays could jeapordize future ballot revenue measures

Most Read