A grown-up Board of Supervisors for The City 

City Hall’s financial analysts are forecasting a San Francisco general-fund deficit in the neighborhood of $380 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1 — followed by massive deficits arriving every year into the foreseeable future.

This means it is an especially important time for The City’s laws to be legislated by a Board of Supervisors made up of rational grown-ups who seriously want to fix San Francisco’s real economic problems instead of issuing silly Happy Meals regulations and playing “gotcha” over obscure political feuds.

Thankfully, there are some surprisingly hopeful signs that the new power balance at the Board of Supervisors might well be ready to make decisions that consistently benefit The City and its long-underserved majority of productive, taxpaying citizens.

A first reason for optimism appeared when the final meeting of the departing progressive (ultra-left) board majority was unable to decide which of its remaining incumbents most deserved to be named interim mayor.

Instead, the supervisors settled for highly qualified City Administrator Ed Lee, who pledged to go back to his job instead of running for mayor after finishing the one-year caretaker term.

The surprise outflanking of the previously unbeatable progressive majority owed much to re-elected board President David Chiu, who appears to be transitioning away from reflexive support of the left-wing bloc that voted him president last year as a compromise ally.

Chiu is emerging as a solidly independent political force. He shows readiness to work with the four newly elected supervisors who seem considerably more moderate and open to practical compromise than the termed-out progressives whose hand-picked replacement candidates they beat quite handily.

Perhaps the most revealing change at the Board of Supervisors was Chiu’s balanced appointments to key committees. Especially noteworthy was his pick of centrist Supervisor Carmen Chu as chair of the Budget and Finance Committee — the board’s most powerful gatekeeper for money bills for seeking full board vote.

It was this somewhat surprising choice — which, incidentally, puts Asian-Americans into San Francisco’s top municipal posts for the first time — that triggered this revealing complaint from Supervisor David Campos, one of the final far-left ringleaders.

“Progressives no longer control this Board of Supervisors,” Campos said. “The loss of that control happened not at the ballot box, but it happened here in City Hall. The fact is that the progressive majority that until just a few days ago controlled the inner workings of this board, including the makeup of these committees, no longer does that.”

The San Francisco Examiner agrees with Campos that a significant change appears to be taking place throughout The City’s electoral atmosphere. However, we are hardly as glum about this shift as Campos and his allies are. It was the doctrinaire progressives who put The City into its present mess. And now San Francisco seems ready to go in a more realistic direction.

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