Tuesday was Carmen Chu’s final meeting as a San Francisco supervisor, and the sendoff by her colleagues on that board was kind and earnest — and telling.
Although Chu rarely spoke at meetings, she was widely regarded as the most well-read and prepared person at any proceeding. (Note to Chu’s replacement, Katy Tang: Talk, sister!)
On Tuesday after a long meeting, supervisors still took the time to say heartfelt goodbyes to Chu.
New members Norman Yee and London Breed each lamented that they would not get to serve longer with Chu.
“I’m feeling ripped off,” Yee said. Several supes who had served with Chu over the past five years noted her penchant for McDonald’s food. (Why Supervisor Eric Mar allowed that to continue is a mystery.) A number of moderate and progressive supervisors remarked that Chu is “authentic” and “fair.”
Terms such as “wise,” “kind,” “respectful” and “well-adjusted” were used to describe the outgoing Chu. Supervisor Scott Wiener was blunt: “It’s like a one-two punch, first with Supervisor [Sean] Elsbernd leaving and now Supervisor Chu.”
The fact that Chu is the new tax assessor was also part of the discussion, as board President David Chiu remarked: “We look forward to her bringing in millions of dollars of property-tax revenue so we can figure out how to spend it.” Avalos also expressed hope that Chu would “pull in that corporate money from downtown.”
I have no doubt that all of the wonderful things Chu’s colleagues said about her are true, but when being “authentic” and “fair” are remarkable traits, and when being prepared for meetings sets you apart from your colleagues, it doesn’t bode well for the body as a whole. Here’s hoping all the supervisors give some thought as to how they will be remembered by their colleagues and constituents.