Bad faith - Page 4

Newsom and his business allies work to kill proposed revenue measures by any means necessary

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu speaks at a July 6 rally for labor unions seeking an increase in the hotel tax

SFMTA supports the measure, with board member Cameron Beach testifying that the money will be used to subsidize Muni and "it links the use of private automobiles and is consistent with the city's transit-first policy." Mirkarimi, who chairs the Transportation Authority, also has proposed a $10 local vehicle license fee surcharge that would bring in another $5 million per year for Muni.

All the revenue measures require six votes by the full Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled to consider them July 20, after which they would need a simple majority approval by voters in November to take effect.

The mayor has the authority to directly place measures on the ballot, so the committee hearing on his hotel tax loophole measure and a $39 million general obligation bond that he's proposing to create a revolving loan fund for private sector seismic improvements were mere formalities, so supervisors criticized aspects of each but were unable to make changes.

Avalos even grudgingly acknowledged the hotel tax poison pill was an effective way to kill that revenue source, saying at the hearing, "This is very smart. I don't agree with it, but it's very smart."

Haaland was less charitable, criticizing a provision designed to confuse voters. "This kind of move means both measures won't pass because now we have to oppose [Newsom's measure]," he said, criticizing the mayor for running away from the hard decisions facing the city. "He won't be around next year, when we have an even bigger structural budget deficit, to clean up this mess. Absent new revenue sources, this city starts to fall apart."


Calvin Welch gets rolled again and it is not he who suffers, he still gets paid.

What kind of record of failure would he need to pile up in order for the community to revoke whatever confidence it has in Welch and ask him to move on?

"Poorly needed construction jobs" in San Francisco are our own equivalent to "poorly needed deep water drilling jobs" in the Gulf. Ill advised reliance on both have led to economic catastrophe, because both are unsustainable and bring unacceptable risks.

The risks in the gulf are apparent, but the risks of housing fetishization locally are the front end of the real estate speculative bubble that crashed the economy. San Francisco is too small, even in the most optimistic upzoning scenarios, to support construction sustainable, just as the Gulf of Mexico is too deep to support drilling sustainably.


Posted by marcos on Jul. 15, 2010 @ 10:43 am

Welch had no credibility in any event but what is much more interesting here is how the city deals with the impending fiscal crisis. You have only to look at the dire mess Oakland is in, laying off cops, to see our future writ large.

You can cut and cut but eventually fire and cops consume 75% of your budget, as in Oakland.

You can pass parcel taxes, if the voters let you, and nickle and dime folks on fees, but eventually the people will rebel.

Such issues take the highest quality of leaders and sadly we don't have them. The NIMBY activists like Welch, Shaw and Hestor are already discredited. The BofS fiddles while Rome burns. And the mayor, while competant, has his eyes elsewhere.

Who will save us? Nobody we can see right now. And it doesnt help that those senior entities that might otherwise bail us out, e.g. the State and the Feds, have their own horrific debt issues.

Home prices? Ha!

Posted by Folly on Jul. 15, 2010 @ 11:27 am

Newsom lead us to where we are right now. He negotiates the contracts and dictates the budget and the Board gets to chip away at the edges. Newsom is not competent.

That said, neither progressives nor conservatives are doing a very good job of articulating a vision for reconciling municipal government with the 21st century economy. Our institutions of government, tax structure, schools bureaucracy and labor unions are vintage 1930s political infrastructure which might have worked once but no longer function under different circumstances.

The contest should be over what values and priorities drive that transformation. A good first step would be to marginalize those who led us into this mess. But if practice holds, they will be rewarded with promotions. If we can't help but kick the demonstrably incompetent upstairs, then we don't deserve better than we get.

Those interests which have outsourced or not been politically capable of stopping the outsourcing of good jobs are not competent. We need to be setting the economic standard for solutions based on the early 21st century economy to diverse, sustainable job generation, access to affordable health care, for delinking speculation and land use, and guaranteeing retirement security and dignity.


Posted by marcos on Jul. 15, 2010 @ 2:37 pm