The Mystery of the Missing Mayor

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Tune in Jan. 4 for the next riveting episode of The Mystery of the Missing Mayor to find out who will lurk behind this door.
Ben Hopfer

Again, the Board of Supervisors scheduled a vote to select a new mayor to succeed Gavin Newsom. Again, members of the public lined up for almost an hour to urge the board to do so and to suggest names and qualities they'd like to see in Room 200. And again, the board delayed the decision with no reason offered for why.

Well, actually, this time, Sup. Sophie Maxwell – the maker of the motion to continue the item this week and last – did at least say something. “We have three weeks and to have someone floating out there for that time is not in the board's best interests,” Maxwell said, and that's all she said.

It's unclear what she meant, and none of the seven supervisors who supported the motion in a 8-3 vote – with Sups. Chris Daly, David Campos, and Ross Mirkarimi in dissent – had anything to say. But Daly certainly did, accusing his colleagues of “doing an incredible disservice to the people of the city and county of San Francisco.”

He restated his points from the two previous hearings on the issue, noting that supervisors should at least be willing to talk about what they're looking for in a mayor and to provide some leadership going into a politically uncertain period after Newsom becomes lieutenant governor on Jan. 3.

“At some point, we need to be putting forward a vision for San Francisco,” Daly said, later asking, “Are we going to take our charge?”

“It's almost as if the members of the board don't want to be here,” he observed, urging them to at least inform the public what's going on.

“If it's that you want the next board to decide, say that,” Daly said. “Say something, the people deserve it.”

Is this an effort to stall the decision until the next board is seated on Jan. 8? Is the current board just waiting until Newsom is gone, afraid that he'll delay his swearing in if they choose a progressive mayor now, and planning to spring into action on Jan. 4? Is there a secret deal in the offing? Or are supervisors just too distracted by the holiday season to make a big decision?

I don't know, but I'm going to spend this week doing interviews to figure it out for a story in next weeks' paper.