Supervisors punt mayoral decision back a week

Who will occupy Room 200 after Newsom? San Franciscans won't know for at least another week.
Ben Hopfer

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today voted to delay until Dec. 14 the process of choosing a mayor to succeed departing Mayor Gavin Newsom after taking about 40 minutes worth of public testimony, most of it calling on supervisors to act quickly to choose a public-spirited mayor to deal with a variety of neglected issues.
After Assembly member Tom Ammiano announced earlier today that he would not accept the board’s nomination to become mayor, it seemed unlikely that anyone could get the required six votes. But Sup. Chris Daly, who led the campaign to recruite Ammiano, argued for beginning the process today as agendized.
“While the Board of Supervisors is not prepared today to appoint someone as successor mayor of San Francisco, we shouldn’t truncate the conversation,” Daly argued, reiterating his call last week for a mayor who is experienced, compassionate, and willing to work cooperatively with the board.
But Sup. Sophie Maxwell didn’t want to have that conversation, making the motion to continue the item for one week, a motion seconded by Sup. Bevan Dufty. Neither offered reasons or arguments for the action.
Yet Daly noted that the board has an approved process for selecting a new mayor and “it might be a good idea to try it out and see how it works,” even if six votes aren’t there yet to approve a nominee. “I’m prepared to make a nomination.”
He addressed calls for delaying the mayoral succession decision by noting that Oakland Mayor-elect Jean Quan and Governor-elect Jerry Brown have both put together transition teams to prepare for taking power at the same time that Newsom will resign as mayor to become lieutenant governor.
“Typically, a mayor would have had about a month to put together a transition team,” Daly said, also noting, “We are now borrowing time against the next administration of San Francisco.”
Sups. David Campos and Eric Mar also spoke in support of this board making the mayoral succession decision “sooner rather than later,” as Campos put it. “We do have a very tough budget year we will be facing and many challenges in front of us,” he said. Campos said he was open to the delay, but he said “it would be a mistake” not to begin dealing with the decision in earnest next week.
Mar said he was open to the delay because he was interested to read the “Values-based Platform for the next Mayor” that a coalition of labor and progressive groups called San Francisco for All distributed at the meeting. The four-page document called for a mayor to value accessibility, consensus-building, making appointments who are accountable to the community, more equitable budget priorities, and transparency.
The motion to delay was approved on a 9-2 vote, with Daly in Sup. John Avalos in dissent.