|Watching City Hall #180
Youre gonna need a charter amendment.
(Deputy City Attorney John Kennedy smirking)
The Office of San Franciscos City Attorney has been working for downtown since gold was discovered in dem dere hills. Some things never change. The latest smug Assistant District Attorney to drive that fact home to the Board of Supervisors was John Kennedy (he aint). Kennedy responded to a question as to just how the hell the Board could respond to citizen complaints about members of a brown shirt gang of fanatics called the Natural Areas Program cutting down, girding & poisoning trees. (Despite a Board resolution prohibiting just that.) Yeah, this Kennedy guy, he says that in his opinion, the Mayors people can keep up with their secret program for clear cutting much of San Franciscos park land, in obvious preparation to sell them off once downtowns policies have brought forth the planned City bankruptcy (debt at 10 billion and growing).
You understand? You be rare then. Basically, there is a program (NAP Natural Areas Program) Masquerading as a virgin environmental group hoping to replant native plants, theyve been killing cats, chasing dogs, cutting down trees and fencing off much of the Citys park land. Now, Im pissed because I walked & climbed & got sun burned and sweaty crawling all over Mt. Davidson for a couple of hours following up on testimony before the City Services Committee (if you want to see the top of Gavin Newsoms head for 3 hours, watch this one as he avoids eye contact) Anyway, da Mayor had Goldsteins gardeners from hell out girding 100 year old trees to clear a view for his contractor buddies and since the Board was not able to stop them (apparently, according to Goldstein, even stopping their money wont stop them a true Willie fait accompli move aka the Ferry Park early morning bulldoze for Rose Pak) Sooooo, there I am hiking through the dense eucalyptus forest with an amazing overgrowth. It was like being in a jungle! Berries of all kinds. Flowers of every description. Every possible kind of bird and small animal life. Natural Areas wants to level it! Oh yeah. You see, the eucalyptus arent native. Neither are the Monterey pines (being from 90 miles south) so, what is best for San Francisco is to cut them all down, totally destroy the protective and oxygen producing eco-system they anchor & give us roped off areas of tiny useless plants that long ago failed to meet the evolutionary standard for survival alongside the true kings of beasts. Soooo, I take Kennedy at his word on Thursday that well need a charter amendment to stop da Mayors chainsaws and go out to gather data on site to support my call for such an amendment. It hurt and I got it. They are indeed poisoning and girding trees on Mt. Davidson. But, when I got back to City Hall with the data, I was appraised by wry supes that I was a day late to lobby them to kill Natural Areas through supe induced Charter measure. (could that have been why Kennedy was grinning?) So, its up to the people. Now, theres a sure loser.
You want to stop Willie Inc. from killing every feral cat in every park? Want to be able to walk your dog off-leash the same way you have the past 30 years without a meter maid in your face? Want to keep that screen of trees that block the worst of the wind and chill from Mr. Pacific Ocean? Want to keep Willie Inc. from selling off much of the City parkland? Well, too late to put on your Recall Willie t shirt. Now, its gotta say Stop NAP! NAP is the developers Trojan horse. Theyve yet to release their overall management plan to anyone. Not the press (refuse to sell copies of the 700 page document til someone has it, they can alter it at will & keep on tearing down trees) not the press, not the public (Bevan Dufty gave em a real push in real time arranging to have his staff (100k) help Goldsteins staff (100 million) post the report lawd, Goldstein tap dances well for a woman of that size around why no one was entitled to any information and why they could jam it if they had any arguments about full funding plus! For one of Willies favorite developer parcel creation project. Soooo? Anyway? Yeah, you gotta fund and run a citizen petition to get 20 or 30 thousand signatures over the next 60 days or so. You go boys and girls. Get it going & Im with you. I cant do everything here, you know. Contact your City Attorneys office on this one. Expect to have them laugh in your face. They wrote this little NAP (Natural Areas Program) legislation before the new Board took office (2000) and it was written in, just the expectation that some new progressive legislators might object to Willies clear cutting City land for resale. Yall go out and beat em on this one. Ya hear? Write me bout how youre doing. As the 100 year old trees fall outside your windows.
Things that will be on your ballot
1. Chris Daly wants the City to provide district offices for supes. I like that. I remember thinking way back that, given the low salary of the position, supe should come with a dwelling and a parking space. Room and Board for the Board. Only, Id put them at key points on their turf. Peskin can meet people in back of a sleazy Chinese restaurant with a door on the alley. Dalys crib can be upstairs from McDonalds at 16th & Mission. Halls place is overlooking the boxing ring at the Irish Cultural Center. Bevan, of course, works beneath a City bath house. And on, and on.
2. Daly and company want an elected rent board. Good idea. Further curtailing of the Mayors office. Something Newsom will doubtless oppose as he will, the district offices for supes (hell, he opposes district supes period!)
3. Shared appointments to the Police Commission. The cops stink. There is no doubt of this. This is a band aid and an aspirin for a patient who needs a new heart. Its a start but wimpy. The entire command structure of the department needs replaced. Everyone wearing gold braid in this department is either criminal, gutless or incompetent (most are probably all three). Never have so many resources been so poorly squandered as by the SFPD. They cant keep a helicopter in the air. They pass on investigation of many crimes. And, theyve never bought me a drink. A sorry state.
1. Making the Controller Pope - Figure this one out and win a gold weenie. Aaron Peskin thinks its hunky for no reason I can ascertain. Its a Donald Fisher brain child which means it probably has to do with either child labor in Indonesia or insider status to a regular dinner guest. Reject. Reject. Reject.
What isnt on the ballot
Sometimes, what is unspoken says so much more than blather. As I see it, the most important issues didnt make the ballot. For me those would be:
1. Formation of San Francisco Land Trust this is an idea whose time done come a while ago. While truly affordable unit ownership for poor citizens is a possible under this model, opposition from traditional tenants organizations keeps it shelved.
2. New tax on downtown overwhelmed by last years ass-kicking, progressives are hiding in the the barn on this one. For now, downtown got by with passing along their overhead to the people. Shorenstein is drinking champagne out his viewless window with Robert McCarthy.
3. Repeal of Rent Control. This almost always comes up in some form or other. Usually, it is in some form designed to sell rental units. Last years sound thumping of Sarosh Kumanas greedy measure, cooled realtor fire.
4. Repeal of District Elections. Newsom and his masters hate nothing worse than District Supervisors. Hardly any of these people play polo! Newsom actually hid under aide Mike Farrahs desk when it was revealed someone in the office had asked the City Attorney to draft legislation for a destruction of the new District supe system. Hey, people like these slobs. I mean, go figure.
Boils down to
No Ed, you will not become Pope. Sorry to be the first one to bring that to you. I guess you kind of got the idea that having the worst fascist in town proposing to empower you was not such a good idea when the Board immediately voted to have your cute butt audited. But, hell, be honest here, if someone like Donald Fisher suddenly shoots you an endorsement, shouldnt your books be audited? I could stand an audit myself. Does that come with free beer? If you have further questions, go see Supervisor Dufty in his new office under the bath house. Hes good with broken dreams.
The 3 Board measures will pass. A district office saves a trip downtown and encourages public participation. No brainer. Renters still outnumber owners who have regularly held an undeserved upper hand at the Rent Board. Voting for that body is fair. Shared Police Commission appointments? Why share em? Id rather elect em, but, this method is a start.
So what if they pass?
Supe Gavin Newsom through his Getty money has made it clear in the 2 weeks or so a court refused to honor the will of the voters vis a vis his Care Not Cash ballot initiative hes made it clear that he is a first rate hypocrite who only cares about the rules when they effect him and his rich friends. I mean, do you hear Gavin complaining when Matt Gonzalez or Chris Daly or Sophie Maxwell dont get the pay raise the voters gave them? Hell no, cause Gavin is a hypocrite. Do you hear Gavin complaining that the voter mandated Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) hasnt been implemented due to delays by Willies vendors (ESS in this case). Heck no, dude. No, Gavin is only upset when it is one of his measures getting blocked and this one wasnt even blocked by the Board. Newsom should announce that in return for support for his Care Not legislation, he will fully support the implementation of voter will on IRV and the supes pay raise. Everyone doesnt have a shovel to Gordon Gettys vault.
Mea Culpa to Tony Hall
In a drunken moment, I said Tony Hall votes straight downtown a week or so ago. I was dead wrong. He crafted IRV with Matt Gonzalez. Also, reform of the Planning Commission and the Board of Appeals. These, and other salient facts documenting the 7th District supes absolutely proven independence demands my apology and this is it. In fact, hed make a great mayor.