Monday, March 22, 2010

Your Rundown on the Week in S.F. Government

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge C'mon, Mr. Mayor -- shave that follicle helmet for Google!
  • C'mon, Mr. Mayor -- shave that follicle helmet for Google!
Puzzling technological initiatives, close studies of dense municipal bureaucracies, garage regulations -- this week at City Hall ain't exactly a stroll down the carnival midway, but there's some important stuff on the table. And if you pay very, very close attention, you just might get a sneaky-peek under the tent flap at the libidinous, beer-guzzling Dog Boy. So check it out:

On Monday afternoon, the supervisors' Land Use and Economic Development Committee will take a look at legislation from Board of Supervisors President David Chiu that would make it harder for homeowners in Telegraph Hill, Chinatown, and North Beach to install street-level garages in their houses. (After being passed by the full board, the proposed ordinance was sent back to committee.) Chiu has claimed that this practice leads to undue evictions of The Sainted Tenant -- perennial fetish of left-leaning city supes and activists -- but others have questioned whether the bill is an undue intrusion on property rights that might be based on some iffy assumptions.

On Tuesday, the full Board of Supervisors will decide whether to throw its hat into the ring in the contest to be named host of a fiber-optic cable network built by Google. Public officials in other municipalities have swam with sharks and jumped into freezing water to demonstrate their go-get-'em civic spirit for this competition. Would it be too much to ask that Gavin Newsom shave his head?

Also on Tuesday, the board will vote on whether to adopt a resolution urging the federal government to strengthen regulations on wireless telecommunications facilities, which some progressive board members -- as well as moderate Carmen Chu, who has signed on as a co-sponsor -- believe to have negative health effects because of their radiation. The resolution would also urge a repeal of limits on state and local governments' ability to regulate the facilities under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. Are we the only ones who think it's funny that this classic piece of lefty legislation is going up for a vote just as the owners of our city's lefty political pamphlet, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, are trying to raise cash by leasing out the roof of their building to T-Mobile for cell-phone antennas?

You've waited for it, wonks, so here comes this week's tasty dessert: On Friday, the supervisors' Government Audit and Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on the budget analyst's audit of Muni's "Proof of Payment" program, which has deployed fare inspectors across the glacially slow web of accordion buses and light-rail trams that passes as San Francisco's public transit system. Published last spring, the report found that Muni has confusedly enacted "policies and practices that failed to minimize fare evasion and optimize fare revenue," and also failed to "regularly or adequately evaluate the program" or "provide sufficient training to employees." Ouch.

Photo   |   Brainchilvn

  

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Peter Jamison

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    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

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