Compromised position - Page 2

Mayor Lee's waffling on big issues is hurting the city's ability to cut the best deals for the public

Mayor Lee's refusal to take a stand delayed the CPMC deal for months.


Neither Lighty nor others involved in the CPMC negotiations would discuss details of the pending deal, as per the instructions of mediator Lou Giraudo. But they did talk to the Guardian about the political shortcomings that led to such a protracted mediation process on a project that has been in the works for many years and involving a looming state deadline to replace the seismically unsafe St. Luke's Hospital.

Lighty called Lee's conciliatory approach to CPMC "an administrative orientation and not a political one," noting that what worked during Lee's long career as a city administrator may not be working well now that he's in the Mayor's Office dealing with issues where consensus isn't always possible.

"I don't think it's a very sophisticated view and I don't think it's one that produces the best results," Lighty said.

Lighty did say the negotiations were getting close to resolution. "What comes before the board is going to be vastly superior to what the mayor and CPMC proposed," he said. "I think what you'll find whenever this comes out is it will repudiate the mayor's approach."

He contrasted Lee's style to that of his predecessor, Gavin Newsom, who took positions on most controversial issues and would often get involved with forcing his allies to cut deals. For example, shortly after taking office on 2004, Newsom demanded that his allies in the hospitality industry end their lockout of hotel workers, and when they refused he turned on them and even famously joined workers on the picket line, pressuring the hotels to soon end the lockout.

"Why did you need to bring in an outside mediator for CPMC? Why didn't the mayor do that?" Lighty asked, noting that Lee has stayed away from the current negotiations.

Ken Rich from the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development has been in those meetings but didn't return our call. Mayoral Press Secretary Christine Falvey has also ignored repeated messages seeking comment on the issues raised in this story.

Rudy Nothenberg, who negotiated big deals on behalf of five successive mayors before Lee and who has been critical of the Warriors Arena deal that the Mayor's Office has negotiated, said Lee's unwillingness to take strong stands with developers is hurting the city.

"I was able to say I'm going to get the best deal I can for the city," Nothenberg told us, saying he approached all negotiations, including the construction of AT&T Park, with the understanding from the mayors he worked for that he could simply say no to bad deals. "You need to bargain for the city as if these guys walked away, well, then that's okay too."

Sup. David Campos, who has been trying to get CPMC to strengthen its commitment to keeping St. Luke's open as a full-service hospital, agreed that, "There have to be times when you're willing to say no." And on the CPMC project, Campos said that fell to the supervisors when the Mayor's Office wasn't willing to. "It was clear that the board was not going to approve it," Campos said, "and sometimes you have to do that to get to a result you can live with,"

UCSF Political Science Professor Corey Cook said the problem is less with Lee's overall philosophy than with what is strategically smart on individual issues.

"The mayor's strength is in trying to come up with consensus measures," Cook told us, calling the approach "generally a good one" and saying "the decider isn't always who you want, then you get George W. [Bush]." Yet Cook also said intractable problems like the condo conversion debate may require a different approach. "Sometimes you do need to stake out clear ground to limit the terms of the debate."




Everyone knows Mirkarimi was fired over this exact issue, that there were issues on which he did not believe in compromise, and not over some trumped up sketchy domestic violence charge, which not only made the mayor look stupid, but also perfidious.

Mayor Ed Lee is ultimately in the pocket of outsider tea bag billionaire "decline to states."

Posted by Guest on Mar. 06, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

These frauds know that what they stand for is wrong and unpopular.

They pretend to be "moderates" because they cunningly reckon that such is the most advantageous mantle for them to wear as they do their masters' bidding.

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 06, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

He probably planned many controversial and alternatve measures, but now he is scared shitless to enact anything that will get his name in the press, so he keeps a very low profile.

Lee won even by losing - he has neutered the Mirk and left him as a lame duck. And Mirk can only blame himself.

Posted by anon on Mar. 06, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

Lee has gone from "Winning without Conflict" to "winning by losing." At least we are headed in the right direction.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 06, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... to ANON: You are so correct when it comes to the GRAND SHERIFF ...

What do I mean .... look at his video where DPH breaks the LAW on 8/15 (notice the Sheriff's office and SFPD present ) .... . Didn't Ross fight against the RIGGED and CORRUPT system at ETHICS ???? What about this ?

Oh, that is right ... HE had a meeting and TRIED to HANDLE me as opposed to perform and then as an addition CUP of POISON sent me back to the LAWBREAKERS (see the 6 videos) and as of TODAY ... ROSS still won't have a followup meeting to discuss the FAILURE and NON HELP.

So I DRANK his CUP of POISON only for DPH to do the SAME LAWBREAKING ACTIVITY as before on 12/19

I can NOT even get walked ACROSS the street by the SHERIFF to DPH .

Now ask me if I have been to DAVID CHIU'S Office regarding the FAILED CIVIL GIDEON that his office sent me to.

Look at the rest of the youtube videos to see how the system is RIGGED ... look at the SFPD videos, the OCC videos, the Sheriff videos ...


Enjoy ...

P.S. I have continued to post and just as the kid who stated that the EMPEROR wears no clothes ... NO ONE is LISTENING, HEARING nor CARING ...

If you'd like you can call 554-7225 and ask why I still DO NOT HAVE A FOLLOWUP MEETING with the SHERIFF who expressed such concern ... unless that too WASN'T TRUE. Shall we judge by DEEDS and not the MEANINGLESS WORDS I receieved from the city handlers when I meet with the SHERIFF on 11/27 ... (watch ALL six videos ... then watch the videos with me trying to followup ... then you will see )

Where is MY SHERIFF ??? Where is JUSTICE, the RULE of LAW and ANY HUMANITY?


Oh and for good measure ... go to to see that this is NOT the FIRST TIME the city BREAKS the LAW and leaves it VICTIM for DEAD ...

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 8:17 am

A nebulous real estate wheeler dealer with some sort of crazy link to a bribing, money laundering teabag Las Vegas Macau gangster piece of sh*T ...

( ) mounting yet another attack on liberal San Francisco through the same immoral mortgage schemes and frauds they used to line their pockets while the whole world collapsed.

How do you compromise with that?

The real reason Mirkarimi was fired was because they were uncomfortable with the thought that they may someday be under his legal custody.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 06, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

People will continue to make $100 a night or more from their spare bedrooms just because they can. Chui is wasting his time trying to control that.

Posted by anon on Mar. 06, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

about anything and everything.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 06, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

If Avalos were Mayor, SF would be in a recession now, instead of boomng.

Posted by anon on Mar. 06, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

After all, I think it is safe to say that a lot of people will automatically side with the opposite of what the Mayor wants. So by his adding his two cents, he is skewing public sentiment, not unlike Republicans who are much more hostile to ideas supported by Obama, but significantly more receptive to the same idea if Obama's fingerprints are nowhere to be found.

just a thought

Posted by GuestD on Mar. 07, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

behooves him to remain above the fray, and just get on with getting things done.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 07, 2013 @ 3:08 pm

...not getting things done.

Posted by steven on Mar. 07, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

including the boom in the local economy, new high-tech jobs, the recovery of SF RE, many on-stream new developments and the evident revitilization of Mid-Market, plus the Warriors deal, a balanced budget and a better spirit between his office and the board.

Or are you nostalgically pining for the good ol' days of Gavin?

Either way, Lee crushed Avalos at the polls. Or does that not matter to you, because you know better than the people and voters of this city?

Posted by Guest on Mar. 07, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

While Lee may be responsible for bringing in a lot of tech jobs and such, it is just exactly this action that has thrown SF housing right up into the gutter. He may have improved the economy for a particular industry, but, in general he has sent this city into a nasty downward spiral. And in fact, he may have enticed all of these big tech firms to come here, but he is allowing them NOT to pay any payroll tax!! Now if that is not pandering to some very specific people i dont know what is. He is working for the big developers and not the residents. THAT is a FACT! BOOO. Shame on you Ed Lee. You shouldnt even be our mayor because you PROMISED that you were not going to RUN... REMEMBER?? Started off with a lie... and it goes on and on and on....

Posted by bluepearlgirl on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 8:29 am

Yeah....actually nobody is paying any payroll tax anymore since the voters overturned it last November. Thanks for your post anyway, even though there wasn't much in it that was actually true. But A+ for enthusiasm.

Posted by Troll on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 9:51 am

The new business tax system is being phased in so companies are subject to the payroll tax for a couple more years. Also, many large companies such as GAP were exempted from the new gross receipts tax and will continue to use the payroll tax system with lower tax rates.

SFBG could do a community service by updating the status negotiations on the new tax regulations, the most important part of the new law where all of the loopholes and "tax planning opportunties" are created.

Posted by Troll 2 on Mar. 11, 2013 @ 10:12 am