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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

San Francisco Has a Budget -- and Chris Daly Has Left the Building

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 8:30 AM

Once more, for old time's sake.

Lost somewhere between the news of Sacramento's impending raid upon municipal revenue streams and President Obama's comfy jeans, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors yesterday passed the city's contentious, agonizing $6.6 billion budget. This wasn't done without Supervisor Chris Daly's acknowledged "best friend" John Avalos -- whom he so designated during an awkward public browbeating/recitation of the second-most famous line from Jerry Maguire earlier this month -- voting down Daly's proposed charter amendment.

We've written quite a bit about this amendment, which, in essence, would force the mayor to spend funds a supermajority of the supes -- that'd be eight of them -- agree to allocate (amazingly, he doesn't have to). Make what you will of progressive stalwarts Avalos and Supervisor David Chiu -- who negotiated this budget with the mayor's office -- voting down Daly's amendment, which spurred Daly's patented "Exit board chambers, Right" maneuver. You don't get $43.7 million in supervisorial add-backs to the mayor's initial budget solely via charm and the intoxicating odor of your chosen cologne, apparently. 

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi put forth a plan to potentially remove funds from Mayor Gavin Newsom's ministry of information (his small army of press secretaries) and pet Community Justice Center in the event of the mayor cutting -- or failing to spend -- money on the supes' chosen programs. Avalos and Chiu helped to vote that one down, too.

If Daly's plan to hold the mayor accountable was too hot and Mirkarimi's was too cold, the board found Supervisor David Campos' to be just right. His proposal to earmark $45 million from the city's five largest departments to cover potential Newsom cuts. This appealed to Supervisor Sean Elsbernd about as much as plans to mandate rooftop vegetable gardens, and he voted against the final budget, joining only Supervisor Carmen Chu. (an admirably thorough reporting of this and all other Board of Supervisors machinations at yesterday's meeting was written by my colleague Paul Hogarth at

Following up on another story covered heavily here, Public Defender Jeff Adachi got some -- but not all -- of his budget restored. Facing a $1.6 million cut (down from $1.9 in the mayor's original draft), the board removed $900,000 from the Superior Court's Indigent Defense Program and split it among the Public Defender and District Attorney; Adachi's office got $650,000. Perhaps Adachi's glossy mailers helped out after all?

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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