City Hall standoff - Page 2

Budget approval linked to backroom deals with Newsom

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Also hanging in the balance was Mirkarimi's ballot measure requiring police to do more foot patrols, as well as another version in which Chiu added a provision that would invalidate the Newsom-backed ordinance banning sitting or lying on sidewalks, a retaliation for Newsom inserting a similar poison pill in his hotel tax loophole measure that would invalidate the hotel tax increase that labor put on the ballot if it gets more votes.

But most of the action was on July 20. The Transportation Authority (comprised of all 11 supervisors) voted 8-3 (with Chiu, Avalos, and Mar opposed) to place a $10 local vehicle license fee surcharge on the ballot, which would raise about $5 million a year for Muni. A Daly-proposed ballot measure to create an affordable housing fund and plan failed on 4-7 vote, with only Campos, Mar, and Chiu joining Daly.

There were some progressive victories as well. A charter amendment by Mirkarimi to allow voters to register on election day was approved 9-2, with Elsbernd and Alioto-Pier in dissent. A Chiu-proposed measure to allow non-citizens to vote in school board elections was approved 9-2, with Elsbernd and Carmen Chu voting no. And a Daly-proposed charter amendment to require the mayor to engage in public policy discussions with the board once a month was approved 6-5, opposed by Dufty, Alioto-Pier, Elsbernd, Maxwell, and Chu.

But the busy day left some progressives feeling unsettled. "How do you do this and not be trading votes?" Campos told us. "In the end, we're saving programs, but what does it say about the institution of the board?"

Newsom spokesperson Tony Winnicker denied that the mayor made inappropriate threats, but confirmed that a deal was cut and told us, "Yes, the Mayor made his concerns about the budget clear. Yes, the mayor made his concerns about the charter amendments clear."