Budget

Editor's notes

When public schools can no longer afford to buy paper, it's time to reconsider the tax system

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tredmond@sfbg.com

I got a message the other day from my son's public school, begging parents to go out and buy a few reams of paper, because the school is almost out and can't afford any more. Seriously: A public middle school in San Francisco doesn't have enough paper for the school year and has to ask parents to go to Costco and pick some up.Read more »

Editor's notes

Why being the mayor "of the 100 percent" isn't good enough

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tredmond@sfbg.com

It's hard for California cities to raise taxes. Almost anything that amounts to a tax hike has to go before the voters, and most of the time, it requires a two-thirds vote.

But in a year when the local legislators are also up for election — and six of the supervisorial districts are up this fall — the voters can pass taxes with a simple majority.

That's one reason that 2012 is a perfect year for tax reform in San Francisco. The other is the spirit of Occupy.Read more »

The right way to rebuild CPMC

Presenting the community benefits agreement

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OPINION As 2011 comes to an end, San Francisco witnesses yet another year with community stakeholders and city officials mired in conflict over Sutter Health's plans to rebuild its massive CPMC hospital system. In what has proven over the years to be an intensely complicated, politicized, and polarizing issue, one important point has been left out of the public dialogue — this conflict is entirely resolvable.Read more »

Jerry Brown has lost his mind

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He's all for "realignment" -- giving counties more responsibility for public services. He's all for environmental initiatives that decrease the state's reliance on fossil fuels. But when a measure comes along that does both -- at no harm to anyone in Sacramento, and has the support of just about everyone in San Francisco from the Chamber of Commerce to the Labor Council -- he vetoes it.Read more »

Newsom's budget and DCCC hypocrisy

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Hypocrisy hung thickly in the air at City Hall today as Mayor Gavin Newsom refused to responsively address glaring contradictions on a pair of high-profile policy stances, pursuing naked self interest while cloaking himself in deceptive but high-minded rhetoric. Newsom used the city budget-signing ceremony to effusively praise the labor unions that he publicly shamed into giving back $250 million over two years to balance the budget without tax increases, a budget that cut services and increased various fees and fines.Read more »

Newsom's extortion

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The mayor really wanted the supervisors to get rid of two reform measures that would have shifted to the board some of the appointments to the Recreation and Park Commission and Municipal Transportation Agency. The landlords really wanted the board to scrap a plan to reform the Rent Board. And both got exactly what they wanted.Read more »

SF Human Services Agency occupied

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"Human Services Agency occupied" was one of the premier tweets on the streets of San Francisco this afternoon, as members of Direct Action to Stop the Cuts DASC) occupied 170 Otis Street to pressure the city to find an adequate place to house sixty homeless people displaced by the closure of the night shelter at 150 Otis.

Folks with DASC reportedly say they applaud the fact that this shelter is slated to be converted into permanent housing for homeless veterans in 2012, but condemn that nearly five dozen people are being pushed onto the streets tonight. Stay tuned.

Muni workers and common sense

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I'm never the one arguing that city workers should take pay cuts, furloughs, benefit cuts or layoffs when there are ways to bring in new revenue. Remember: Layoffs and furloughs are, by definition, service cuts. And it's a good thing to have city employees make enough money to live in San Francisco, raise families, send their kids to college etc. Maintaining a middle class in San Francisco through public-sector jobs is a fine use of taxpayer dollars (particularly if those dollars can come from the rich).Read more »

Elsbernd blocks state budget resolution

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The Democratic leadership in the state Assembly has a budget plan that challenges the entire approach Gov. Schwarzenegger is taking on the state budget. It's not perfect; it relies on borrowing (although it's borrowing against the revenues from a new oil severance tax). But it will, Speaker John Perez says, save more than 400,000 jobs. And it's way, way better than what the governor wants to do. Read more »

Public employees step up; when will Newsom and downtown?

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With news that Muni union leaders are backing salary givebacks to help close San Francisco's $483 million budget deficit, all city employees are now making sacrifices to preserve city services that we all rely on. But as we eagerly await the release of the mayor's budget on June 1 – in which some city departments have been asked to make cuts of up to 30 percent – the question is whether Mayor Gavin Newsom will find the courage to ask other San Francisco entities to help. Read more »