Photo by Robert Altman from www.altmanphoto.com
By Steven T. Jones
Sunshine activist Kimo Crossman made an excellent point in an e-mail he blasted out this morning, citing a story in the New York Times that illustrates how mayors are usually held accountable for how they spend their days -- and how our Mayor Gavin Newsom isn't.
The story was about how Mayor Rudy Giuliani spent his time after 9-11 and whether it justifies his recent statements about spending more time at Ground Zero than many rescue workers, many of whom now suffer from debilitating respiratory problems as a result of their work, and the failure of Giuliani to properly safeguard their health.
Here in SF, Newsom has been repeatedly criticized by the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force (which, unfortunately, has no enforcement powers) for failing to disclose his complete public schedule, which most days lists a couple events at most. Today is a good example, with the mayor's schedule listing only "Mayor Newsom will be conducting meeting in City Hall." Wow, that's helpful.
Compare that to the detail and specificity for the mayor of New York, and the mayors of many big cities, and you'll get some insights into how Newsom feels about public accountability.