Halloween Specials


Well, ain't this special!
A Special Report from the Controller and the Legislative Analyst is recommending the establishment of an Office of Special Events.
The impetus for this special study came, says the report, from Sup. Bevan Dufty in the wake of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s decision to cancel a City-sponsored Halloween this year.
The report is already getting activists nervous.
That’s because one of its main thrusts is reviewing “whether the Entertainment Commission’s unfulfilled responsibility to attract and support special events (including those without sponsors) should officially be transferred to some other unit.”
That unit would most likely be contained within the Mayor’s Office.
Now, Piss-poor communication between the Mayor’s Office and the Entertainment Commission over Halloween 2007 became an open secret this year, after a public records request unearthed emails in which commissioners complained that the Mayor’s Office has been trying to avoid meeting with them to discuss plans to shift the event to the waterfront.
This may be why the Special Report recommends that the two be required to communicate in future, or it could be because, as the Special Report notes, a recent Civil Grand Jury found that “communication between the Entertainment Commission and the Mayor’s Office has not been sufficiently good to allow such efforts [promoting the development of a vibrant entertainment and late-night entertainment industry] to move forward.
Either way, it’s an interesting development ten days before this year’s non-event looms, and a tacit admission that no one in Room 200 is expecting to be able to kill Halloween 2008, which occurs on a Friday.
The report, which reviews the role of all the City’s major special events, not just Halloween, finds that San Francisco could benefit economically and culturally from additional special events, but that no city agency is currently focused on “attracting, creating and promoting” such events.
It suggests that the Convention and Visitors Bureau, which receives 56 percent of its $14 million budget from the City’s hotel tax to promote SF as a tourist destination, or another non-profit such as SF’s Grants For Arts, could play a larger role.
It also recommends that “ unsponsored events like Halloween are likely best managed by the Mayor’s Office in cooperation with a Private event producer.”
Stay tuned.