Board of Supervisors President David Chiu doesn’t at all sound happy that Mayor Gavin Newsom has attempted to use proposed November ballot measures as a negotiating tactic to come to an agreement with the board about the proposed $6.5 billion city and county budget.
“At the 11th hour and 59th minute the mayor injected issues that have nothing to do with the budget and is holding hostage balancing the budget for all San Franciscans,” Chiu said Thursday afternoon.
The board is working to restore funding to social services cut in Newsom’s budget proposal, which closed a $483 million deficit.
The board’s Budget and Finance Committee postponed its 5 p.m. Wednesday meeting when it was supposed to vote on the budget proposal as negotiations with Newsom dragged on.
The sticking point: Newsom has requested that a budget agreement includes the board agreeing to leave off the November ballot a number of proposed ballot measures that would erode the mayor’s power by splitting up the mayor’s current sole appointing power for those who serve on the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s board of directors, which oversees Muni, the Recreation and Park Commission and the Rent Board.
The SFMTA-related measure would also ensure the cash-strapped transit agency receives tens of millions of dollars each year in property tax revenue.
Chiu said he was “extremely surprised and disappointed that [Newsom] put on the table at the last second” the proposed ballot measures. Chiu said that the ballot measure proposals are working their way through the public vetting process and the many stakeholders involved would probably not appreciate the “last minute ambush.”
The committee was scheduled to meet Thursday at 2:30 p.m. to vote on the budget. It doesn’t sound as if an agreement will be reached by then, but anything’s possible.