Budget blowback - Page 2

After some high-profile distractions, supervisors start reversing Newsom's spending cuts

Ultimately, it said, the mayor found just $1.5 million for its priorities, so it turned its attention to the Board of Supervisors.

Since board president Aaron Peskin removed Daly as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee on June 15 and took the reins himself, the body has restored $4 million in HIV/AIDS funding, and much more is on the way. Peskin told us that he intends to significantly change the mayor's budget, promising more so-called add backs than the board has ever approved.

"It's all about priorities," Peskin told us. He said Daly "never intended to actually cut" any of the mayor's top-priority projects when he introduced his motion to slash $37 million from Newsom's funding plans. It was simply a negotiating tactic that "backfired majorly" when the targeted constituencies rallied against Daly.

Yet board progressives haven't been derailed by Daly's actions, as many pundits predicted. At the same meeting at which Daly mentioned cocaine while making a point about substance abuse program cuts, Sup. Ross Mirkarimi led a challenge of Newsom's proposed San Francisco Police Department contract on the grounds that it would grant cops a 25 percent pay increase but give the city little in return. And there are still eight supervisors who supported Daly's affordable-housing plan.

Peskin told us, "I'm hopeful that by the end of the week you'll be able to write that Peskin took the baton that Newsom handed him, and while it may not have been as pretty as we might have liked, I'm hopeful that after reversing cuts to health care and [making the additions requested by] the Family Budget Committee, we'll even be able to dump money back into low-income, affordable, family, and rental housing." *