October 23, 2002




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Hall Monitor

Ward's whiplash: Embattled incumbent assessor Doris Ward has been endorsed, unendorsed, and reendorsed by the San Francisco Tenants Union. She already had the official nod of most city clubs, but nearly losing that one really worried her. "Everything's OK. [The endorsement] is back on," she told us. Here's what happened: Late September, when Tenants Union chief Ted Gullicksen realized Ward had her signature removed from a November ballot argument against Proposition R, he yanked the group's support. Defeating Prop. R (Home Ownership Program for Everyone, or HOPE) – a measure that would allow scores of rental units to be converted to condominiums – is a priority of the Tenants Union.

But Ward, whose campaign is already in danger because of an ongoing FBI investigation of the Assessor's Office, then "begged and pleaded" and agreed to officially oppose Prop. R, Gullicksen told us.

That didn't last long. She called Gullicksen back to say her campaign manager, Eric Jaye, had advised her against publicly saying no to HOPE.

Meanwhile, former supervisor Mabel Teng, who has a shot at unseating Ward, told Gullicksen she wanted to meet with the organization again to get its members to consider endorsing her. As a supervisor, Teng was certainly not the darling of the union. In 1997 she succeeded in passing a watered-down version of Sup. Tom Ammiano's legislation protecting renters from owner-move-in evictions, among other actions that angered the group. Plus, she supports Proposition N (Care Not Cash), which would make it just about impossible for the Tenants Union to endorse her, Gullicksen said.

Speaking of Ammiano, before the meeting he rang Gullicksen and made the case for Ward. After hearing from both candidates, the Tenants Union members gave Ward their support – for the second time this election season.

"We think she got the message and won't waiver," Gullicksen said. (Savannah Blackwell)

Monday becomes Tuesday: Sup. Matt Gonzalez has succeeded in his bid to get colleagues to move the Board of Supervisors' main meeting from Mondays to Tuesdays at 2 p.m.

The board has met as a whole on Mondays for as long as seasoned city hall watchers can remember. But Gonzalez said the Monday schedule forced his staff to work Sundays to prepare for the meetings. According to board sources, no one was keen on changing the schedule. Then again, no one was in the mood to tangle with Gonzalez on the matter.

Last month board president Tom Ammiano managed to stall the vote by asking City Controller Ed Harrington to determine if moving the meeting would cost the city money. When Harrington reported there would be no financial impact, Ammiano voted Sept. 30 along with nine other supervisors to change the meeting date – starting in February.

Sup. Chris Daly managed to be upbeat. The change will make it easier for supervisors to attend regional meetings held Mondays, he said. Daly, for example, is a member of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which meets Mondays. In the end, only Sup. Aaron Peskin voted against the change. (Blackwell)