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."


Thanks to Rebecca Lee and Sarah Phelan for the detailed interview with Mayor Ed Lee.

I don't see how any reasonable person could attack Lee, based on the material presented in this interview. He comes across as practical, accessible, modest, and solution-oriented.

That's a refreshing change from both former Mayor Gavin Newsom, who loved to strike poses while looking at himself in the mirror, and former Supe Chris Daly, who loved to have testosterone fits.

The most hostile comment directed toward Ed in the interview came from former supe Aaron Peskin. He's a remnant of the old style of doing politics, which is now out of fashion ("Payback is a bitch," in his own words).

The general aura of good feeling is likely to take some hits, once the details of the budget come out. That's inevitable because the city is in a serious crisis, with no easy fixes.

However, so far, except for Aaron Peskin, most of the principals at City Hall are finally acting like adults.

Refreshing, isn't it?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Feb. 24, 2011 @ 10:18 am

>I don't see how any reasonable person could attack Lee

@Arthur - And no reasonable person has. Peskin called him a lightweight and a tool but you really won't find any attacks by stable individuals.

Posted by Homer on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

A broad group of people weigh in on what they expect to get out of the SF spoils system. They didn't campaign and donate to SF's politicians expecting to not be thrown multiple bones. To pay for all this patronage of a multitude of groups who claim to speak for "the people"(tm), "families"(tm), and a host of other buzzwords we need to raise taxes.

Posted by meatlock on Feb. 24, 2011 @ 11:12 am

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