Best Cantankerous Watchman of Public Funds - 2011
Harvey Rose, Board of Supervisors Budget and Legislative Analyst
Imagine a tableful of 11 attractive, free-spending friends. At the end of the meal, naturally, no one can figure out the bill — because they can't do math. An older gentleman with a checkered jacket appears out of nowhere, tabulates the bill, and analyzes whether dinner was worth the price. That's the role Budget and Legislative Analyst Harvey Rose has played for the Board of Supervisors for just shy of 40 years —except he often does his work before the meal, so to speak: The supes' fiscal eyes are routinely bigger than their stomachs, or the city's wallet. Rose, who turns 75 this month, is known for his 16-hour, coffee-fueled days, which often start at 4 a.m. Doing everyone else's math takes time. Lots of time.