Meet the new boss - Page 5

Ed Lee has been mayor for six weeks. Does his administration represent a change — or more of the same?


The final decision to award the contract was delayed for two months at a February Budget & Finance Committee hearing. Campos is contemplating putting the issue to the voters this fall, provided he can find six votes on the Board.

"I know that Sup. Campos had given his policy argument for why he wants that revisited," Lee said. "I have let him know that the Recology company in its various forms has been our very dependable garbage-hauling company for many, many decades. ... I feel that the company has justified its privilege to be the permit holder in San Francisco because of the things that it has been willing to do with us. Whether or not we want to use our time today to revisit the 1932 ordinance, for me that wouldn't be a high priority."



In the last week of 2010, Avalos pushed through groundbreaking local-hire legislation, without the support of then Mayor Gavin Newsom or his chief of staff, Steve Kawa, who wanted Avalos to back off and let Newsom takeover the task.

With Lee now in Room 200, things appear to be moving forward on local hire, in face of misleading attacks from Assemblymember Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), who wants to make sure no state money is used on local-hire projects, presumably because the building trades are upset by it. And Kawa, whom Lee has retained as chief of staff, doesn't really support the legislation. Indeed, Kawa's presence in the Mayor's Office has his detractors believing that the new boss in Room 200 is really the same as the old boss.

"I feel like things are moving forward in the right direction around local hire, though a little more quietly than I'd like," Avalos told the Guardian. Avalos noted that he is going to hold a hearing in March on implementing the legislation that should kick in March 25.

Welch said he believes that if Lee starts replacing staff wholesale, it could indicate two things: he's a savvy guy who understands the difficulties of relying on Newsom's chief of staff Steve Kawa for a budget, and he's not ruling out a run for mayor.

"If I was in his position, the first thing out of my mouth would be, 'I'm not running.' I think he's very focused in the budget. And it's going to make or break him. But if he starts overriding Kawa and picks staff who represent him ... well, then I'd revisit the question of whether he's contemplating a run for mayor, say, around June."

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