Mayor appearances before supervisors back on the ballot 

Voters will have the opportunity this fall to require that the mayor show up during a San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting every month to talk about city business.

The charter amendment that would require the mayor “to appear personally at one regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors each month to engage in formal policy discussions with the members of the Board” lost at the polls in November 2007.

But on Tuesday, supervisors voted 6-5 to try it again by placing the amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot. In 2007, the measure was politically charged. Opponents characterized it as nothing more than an attempt by Supervisor Chris Daly to be able to attack Mayor Gavin Newsom.

But Daly, who reintroduced it, has said the biggest argument used to defeat the measure was himself, and he is termed out of office next year. Newsom also is termed out in 2011, and he may vacate his seat early if he wins the lieutenant governor post.

The law “fortifies a level of engagement,” Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said, and creates accountability “in an open environment.”

Supervisor John Avalos, who chair’s the board’s budget committee, praised the measure.

“This is a place where the legislative process occurs and all its blemishes, and I believe that no person who is an elected official here in San Francisco should be immune to the legislative process, including the mayor who crafts the budget,” Avalos said.

Supervisors Carmen Chu, Bevan Dufty, Sean Elsbernd, Sophie Maxwell and Michela Alioto-Pier opposed the amendment.

“This is nothing more than political theater and part of an ongoing vendetta by some supervisors angry at the mayor,” Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said. “If they want to be part of prime minister’s question time, they should run for a seat in the British House of Commons.”


In other action

In a 9-2 vote, a charter amendment introduced by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu that would allow noncitizen voting in school board elections was placed on the November ballot. Supervisors Sean Elsbernd and Carmen Chu opposed it.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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