Consolidating power - Page 2

Proposal calls for most city permitting to be placed under a controversial new department head

Among those recently replaced by Newsom are the heads of the Planning Department, the Department of Public Works (which oversees the Bureau of Street Use and Mapping), the SFPUC, and the Redevelopment Agency.

"There's an opportunity right now because of all these resignations to manipulate policy," said Debra Walker, president of the BIC. She stressed that she wasn't sure whether that was an intention of this proposal, but she was unaware of the memo until concerned members of the Fire Department brought it up at the Dec. 19 meeting of the BIC. She said her department has since received a copy but has yet to discuss its implications as a commission.

Hasenin is a relatively new employee who joined the city about nine months ago from a previous post in San Diego. His leadership has already garnered a lengthy anonymous letter addressed to Newsom from a contingent of DBI staff outlining a raft of concerns about their new leader, including specifics like "Plan check engineers are afraid they will be fired unless they keep up with unreasonable turn around times and sign off on plans that are not ready for issuance because they do not comply with code."