SF Mayor, Board Back to Bickering

Charter amendment, endorsement have Gavin Newsom and supervisors at odds once again

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    Gavin Newsom's refusal to talk to supervisors may be coming back to haunt his allies on the board.

    The ink is barely dry on the hotly contested annual budget, but San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors are at each other's throats already.

    At issue are an amendment to the city charter being considered by the board which the mayor opposes, and a Newsom supporter the mayor is likely to endorse whom most of the supes oppose.

    In the latter case, rumors are flying that Michaela Alioto-Pier, who represents Newsom's old district on the board, is interested in running for state insurance commissioner.

    So former board president Aaron Peskin, now the chairman of the local Democratic party, who often tangled with Alioto-Pier when the two were on the board together, quickly called a press conference to throw his support behind Assemblyman Dave Jones of Sacramento.

    In attendance were current board President David Chiu and Alioto-Pier's other colleagues Chris Daly, David Campos, John Avalos and Ross Mirkarimi -- proving that Alioto-Pier isn't going to win any popularity contests in San Francisco City Hall.

    Those current board members also represent the likely supporters of a charter amendment sponsored by Daly that would limit the mayor's power over the city's checkbook.

    As it stands, even if the Board of Supervisors overrides a mayoral veto of a budget line item, the mayor can simply refuse to fund it -- a defacto override of an override.

    In fact, 41 cents out of every dollar restored to the budget by the supes last year met this very fate.

    "It could walk us right off a financial cliff," Newsom told the San Francisco Chronicle  -- even though the spending is, by its nature, budgeted for.

    Jackson West knew the mayor struggles with reading, but hadn't known him to struggle with basic math in the past.