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News + PoliticsSupes to ask mayor about corruption

Supes to ask mayor about corruption

Plus: Hearing on UCSF's hospital expansion plans and the new committee lineup: That's The Agenda for Jan 11-18.


Board of Supes President Shamann Walton announced Sunday the new lineup for board committees, and the progressives will be in control of a lot of key panels.

Sup. Dean Preston is going to ask the mayor about the corruption scandal

Sup. Matt Haney will chair the Budget and Finance Committee, joined by Ahsha Safai and Gordon Mar. When two more supes join in the spring for review of the mayor’s budget, they will be Sup. Hillary Ronen and Walton.

Sup. Dean Preston will chair the Government Audit and Oversight Committee, joined by Sups. Connie Chan and Rafael Mandelman. Mar will chair the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, joined by Sup. Catherine Stefani and Haney.

Sup. Myrna Melgar, former president of the Planning Commission, will chair the Land Use and Transportation Committee, joined by Preston and Sup. Aaron Peskin.

Ronen, who has been outspoken on the need for public schools to re-open, will chair the Joint City, School District, and Community College Committee.

Peskin will chair Rules, joined by Mandelman and Chan.

Mayor London Breed will appear for the first Question Time of the new Board of Supes Tuesday/12 and she will be challenged on the ongoing municipal corruption scandal.

Sup. Preston will ask a question about the topic, one the mayor has mostly addressed in press statements.

There’s a lot to ask, particularly about how the mayor could have been completely ignorant of what senior officials in her administration were allegedly doing. The fact that the money involved in these cases has been pretty minor is one indication that these were not isolated incidents; hard to believe people making such generous salaries would risk their careers and possibly their freedom for a few thousand bucks unless this had been going on for a while.

I also have to wonder what Breed is planning to do to end the pattern of pay-to-play that has existed in the city for decades.

The supes will also hear an appeal by the owners of a building in North Beach who want to convert their tenancy-in-common units to condos. They were rejected by the Planning Commission on a party-line vote last year because seniors were evicted from the building to make room for the TIC.

The Planning Department wanted to allow the condo conversion, which would make the units more valuable. But the three members of the commission appointed by the supes said that the rules are clear: You can’t evict seniors under the Ellis Act and then apply for a condo permit.

The mayor appoints four commissioners, and all of her appointees sided with the building owners, but one seat was vacant, so the motion to approve failed 3-3.

Now the owners want the supes to overturn the commission – which they very rarely do – and approve the condo permit.

The board meeting starts at 2pm.

The Land Use and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing Monday/11 on UCSF’s plan to build a new hospital and housing on Parnassus Heights. As we reported Jan. 4:

The problems with the project are pretty clear: It will create far more jobs than housing, and much of the housing won’t be built until well after those new workers arrive. It will put a massive transit burden on the neighborhood, and will likely add 3,000 cars a day to an area where traffic and parking are already a critical problem. The new 30-story hospital will cast shadows on Golden Gate Park and the surrounding neighborhoods.

And it’s a direct violation of the deal that that the UC Board of Regents has had with the city and the neighbors since 1976 – and a legally binding MOU the city and UCSF entered into in 1987.

Tons of comments on Twitter when we reported this story, mostly saying that only Nimbys would oppose a hospital and new jobs during a public-health crisis and recession.

But the hospital won’t be built for another ten years; it’s not going to add any beds during this crisis. And the jobs-housing balance is a real issue.

When community leaders fought the new CPMC hospital on Van Ness, they weren’t trying to prevent a new health-care facility and jobs; they wanted to be sure the CPMC properly mitigated the impacts on the city. They won a good deal; the new hospital got approved, St. Luke’s in the Mission was saved, the workers got a good union contract – and neighborhood folks say that’s what can happen if UCSF will bargain in good faith.

But you can expect the Yimbys to be out in force for the hearing. Preston will also be asking the board to urge the UC regents to postpone approval of the deal until March.

The hospital plan borders on two districts, 5 and 7, and both of those supervisors will be in the hearing. It will be the first difficult land-use decision for the new committee chair, D7 Supe Myrna Melgar.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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  1. Gorn, it would be nice if you came up with some new material. Breed depends on the “strong mayor system” but every time that is used, Breed did her grave a bit more. She does not have that much support. She has made a number of blunders, including her attempt to spring her brother, and most recently her trip to the French Laundry. Recalling her is growing in popularity, and is only held off by the pandemic. Unlike state recalls, locally signatures have to be gathered in person. That is not possible right now.

  2. Geek, Tim writes in this piece that the committee assignments by Walton, a progressive, represent a major progressive victory.

    You’d think that with a veto-proof progressive super majority, that the supervisors would fill the vacuum vacated by Breed and actually govern.

    I’ve got a feeling the progressives are still going to be cowering behind the eight ball.

  3. Well Gorn, like a broken record, you respond with the same drivel. You again post you hatred for non-profits, and you usual defense of Breed. Willie had a vise grip on things through Newsom, and Lee. I am not so sure that Farrell was in his pocket as much. Now Breed is controlled more by rich Republicans who cannot get one of their own elected, so they depend on DINOs like Lee and Breed who sell themselves out for financial support. People are losing trust for Breed. They are waking up to the fact that she will not properly deal with homelessness, and that she is in over her head. She is merely a puppet for various interests. She is somewhat shield by the pandemic. But, once the vaccine is widely available, things can change. The Feds are tightening the noose around corruption and pay to play. And it is getting closer, and closer to Room 200.

  4. Geek, Breed is the latest figurehead in the Brown machine that has run San Francisco unimpeded but for a short time in the early 2000s.

    We cannot do anything about the Brown machine that Breed the facade of until we get progressive/liberals who are not compromised because their nonprofits depend on remaining in the good graces of the Brown machine by not biting the hand that feeds them.

    At the rate we’re going and you’re okay with, progressive/liberals can dawdle for a few more decades to finally make their move.

    I’m not okay with just taking that damage while the progressives are pretending to get their shit together.

  5. Gorn, I assume you mean “monomania.” And no, not accurate. Breed is simply the latest incarnation of a problem that has existed for a long time. And seriously, your monomaniacal obsession with certain nonprofits is quite striking. Since 2002, I have observed how the so-called moderates have harmed the City. Breed is just the latest, and possibly the worst. What I have seen is that they have insured that homelessness remains the major issue because it distracts from everything else.

  6. geek, you are obsessed with London Breed, compulsive in your momomania. Everything runs back to London Breed for you. As has been suggested before, seek help.

    The City only offers up grants and contracts to nonprofits in land use and health under the proviso that these nonprofits not bite the political hand that feeds them, to keep up their grants and contracts and to maintain access to promote their agenda.

    Follow the money, cui bono?

    Meanwhile, you’re just progressive legs good, moderate legs bad. Yawn.

  7. Gorn, I see you are back with your same, lame drivel. Corruption has nothing to do with the non-profits you are obsessed with, and everything to do with the culture of pay to play nurtured by Brown, Lee, and Breed. It is being chipped away at. Nuru is on his way to prison, and Breed is no doubt worrying ig she will be next. And you continue to shill and deflect for Breed.

  8. Corruption is not going to end until the Kaufman/Brown 1996 Charter is scrapped and reconstituted to serve open small d democratic ends.

    And as we saw Calvin Welch and Peter Cohen, the CCHO and HSN, showing down for behested payments, the type of corruption cited in indictments and pleas, we know that the “progressive” nonprofits will run interference for corruption to keep their place at the trough.

    Preston would do well to advance the Social Housing initiative to build a basis of small d democratic power around housing issues to contest the self-serving corruption of CCHO.

    Only with the power of CCHO and HSN checked would San Franciscans have any chance of cracking the corruption nut.

    Right now, the DSA Afro Socialists and Berniecrats Social Housing are taking the lead on moving past the progressive corruption trap. And we see the progressive establishment organizing to thwart them. That is the best indication that they are on the right track.

  9. “And the jobs-housing balance is a real issue.”

    There are jobs leaving San Francisco. Maybe more leaving than arriving. UCSF jobs may not be significant in the balance.

    What is the acceptable or desirable jobs-housing balance? How would it be possible to achieve it? For many decades there have been more jobs than resident workers in SF. I think around 60% of SF worker’s commute. But most don’t commute that far even if they don’t live in the City. I am not convinced the balance is the real issue.

  10. San Francisco County must now delve into the corruption scandal surrounding the open source election system project. Mayor Breed and Linda Gerull appeared to have cut a deal with Microsoft to collapse the project with Gerull and associates absorbing the majority of the previously funded dollars. This corruption followed a 300 million dollar voting system debacle in Los Angeles County whereby Microsoft and others collapsed another open source voting project.

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