EDITORIAL When the late Sup. Harvey Milk was fighting to defeat the Briggs Initiative, a statewide ballot measure that would have barred gay people from teaching in public schools, he repeatedly made the point that the more Californians met and interacted with openly gay and lesbian people, the less likely the voters would be to sanction discrimination. Read more »
EDITORIAL Mayor Gavin Newsom and a negotiating team from the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 have hammered out yet another deal, this one slightly better for the workers than the proposal that the 11,000 union members voted down last week. As part of the deal, SEIU members will take 10 legal holidays without pay over the next 14 months, and gain five floating paid holidays. Read more »
EDITORIAL To hear the proponents of a new downtown condo complex talk, you'd think they were giving the city a wonderful deal. In exchange for an exemption from height limits that would allow a tower twice the allowable size just a few yards from the Transamerica Building, the developer would give the city a little patch of parkland that's now privately owned. Read more »
EDITORIAL Just one day after the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance Committee voted to reject Mayor Gavin Newsom's Muni budget, the mayor's press flak, Nathan Ballard, reminded us of how deeply the Mayor's Office remains in budget denial.
"We are currently operating under the assumption that the supervisors will approve the MTA's sensible budget," Ballard told City Editor Steven T. Jones May 8. "If they reject the budget, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."
EDITORIAL The Sunshine Ordinance Task Force and the Ethics Commission are talking to each other, which is some small progress on one of the most annoying lingering issues in San Francisco. But the joint meeting last week, while positive in tone, didn't solve the basic problem.
Under the city's Sunshine Ordinance, the task force investigates complaints about city agencies improperly withholding records or meeting in secret. Read more »
The choice facing California voters May 19 is, to put it mildly, unpleasant. The budget deal hammered out by the governor and legislative leaders which these six ballot measures will confirm and implement at least kept the state solvent and prevented a financial catastrophe. But the solution is just terrible, and will lock the state into a budgetary nightmare for years to come.
State Sen. Mark Leno, who supports the deal, makes no attempt to soft-peddle what went on here. Read more »
EDITORIAL The concept is so good it's hard to imagine why anyone would criticize it: the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission wants to cover the Sunset Reservoir with solar panels, creating the largest municipal solar generating project in the country. The money would come from existing SFPUC revenue no new taxpayer dollars. Read more »
EDITORIAL The front-line city employees have stepped up to the plate. Members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, the largest of the city-worker unions, are discussing concessions worth close to $40 million, the equivalent of the raises they were set to get in next year's budget. Other unions will likely follow suit, meaning that as much as 20 percent of the city's budget deficit could come directly out of the pockets of city workers.
That was probably inevitable, and Local 1021 members were willing to give up pay increases to avoid further layoffs. Read more »