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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.

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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.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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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