Will the San Francisco Board of Supervisors let developers of the biggest office towers proposed for San Francisco renege on promises to help pay for the Transbay Terminal reconstruction, extension of rail service to that site, and other public amenities? Or will Willie Brown successfully use politicians that he helped get into office — most notably Mayor Ed Lee and Sup. Jane Kim — to let the developers keep hundreds of millions of dollars in excess profits?Read more »
The internal report on SF Housing Authority management berates ousted director Henry Alvarez as a jerk and a bully, somone who made racist and homophobic comments and intimidated staff. But the report also shows exactly how the corrupt politics of San Francisco contracting works. You can't read the whole Chronicle story because of the paywall, but I'll excerpt the part that matters:Read more »
You'd think the mayor would know better by now. After all the allegations of cronyism and undue influence, you'd think that he'd make sure everyone involved in his trip to China was playing by the rules. You'd think the last thing he would want is this.
Now: So far this is just a complaint, and noting has been proven. But still: It sure looks bad. And it's entirely unnecessary.Read more »
Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s new medical marijuana bill seems pretty straightforward. Almost everyone in the medpot biz thinks there ought to be some sort of statewide regulations for a growing industry that operates in a mish-mash of local jurisdictions with no overall rules. If nothing else, consumer-protection policies ought to be in place. Read more »
The Chron's conflict-laden columnist made an interesting admission Dec. 9: The multibillion-dollar tax loophole that allows corporations to avoid reassessments under Prop. 13 was all his fault:Read more »
Mayor Ed Lee seems to think that the controversy over Housing Authority Director Henry Alvarez is just going to blow over, but he's wrong. There's too much here. And it's not just about the lawsuits employees have filed or the sizable list of unhappy workers.Read more »
And so, after the Guardian started the public power movement in 1969 with the pioneering Joe Neilands expose of the PG&E/Raker Act scandal, after three initiative campaigns to kick PG&E put of City Hall and enforce the public power mandates of the federal Raker Act and bring our own Hetch Hetchy public power to our own people, after hundreds of people worked for years inside and outside City Hall for public power and clean energy, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 Tuesday to formally launch a CleanPowerSF project that would for the first time challenge the decades-old power monopoly of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company.
It was a historic moment. And it was a historic veto proof vote that Ed Lee, the PG&E- friendly mayor, and his ally and mentor, former mayor Willie Brown, the unregistered $200,000 a year PG&E lobbyist, will have difficulty snuffing out this time around. Read more »
As an advocate for the passage of the San Francisco sunshine ordinance and task force in the early 1990s, I felt obligated to take my first and only City Hall position and serve as a founding member of the task force. I served for l0 years and helped with many other good members to build the task force into a strong and respected agency for helping citizens get access to records and meetings and hold city officials accountable for suppressing access.
The task force is the only place where citizens can file an access complaint without an attorney or a fee and force a city official, including the mayor, to come before the task force for questioning and a ruling on whether they had violated sunshine laws, The task force lacked enforcement power, but it still annoyed of city officials, including Mayor Willie Brown.
In fact, Willie spent a good deal of time trying to kick me off the task force. He used one jolly maneuver after another, even getting an agent to make a phony complaint against me for violating the ordinance with an email. (The complaint went nowhere.) I refused to budge and decided to stay on the task force until Willie left office—on the principle that that neither the mayor nor anybody else from City Hall could arbitrarily kick members off the task force. When Willie left office after two terms, I resigned with the hope that the Willie principle had been established. Read more »
San Francisco's treasurer, Jose Cisneros, usually operates out of the limelight, and he likes it that way. Most of what he does is about making sure the city's money comes in propertly and doesn't go out where it isn't supposed to. But now he's in the middle of a political battle not of his making, and he's taking some undeserved hits, including from the Mayor's Office.Read more »