Newsom compiling city operations details for new mayor 

A so-called Mayoral Transition Binder is being assembled in time to hand over to whoever becomes San Francisco’s next mayor within weeks.

It remains a mystery who will serve as mayor when Gavin Newsom vacates the post in early January. But this chief executive of city government will have no time to waste. The City is facing a massive budget deficit; negotiations with labor groups about benefits and pay are a must; Muni remains plagued by problems; and major development projects are moving forward.

Getting up to speed in short order would seemingly be a must. To that end, Newsom has ordered department heads to submit details about their operations for what some are calling the Mayoral Transition Binder.

“The mayor asked department heads to put together org charts, overviews of their departments, etc. to help the interim mayor when he/she assumes office,” Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said. “It is part of Mayor Newsom and his administration’s commitment to ensure a smooth and stable transition to the acting/interim mayor in January.”

Departments are now in the process of compiling materials for the binder. The Human Services Agency, for example, is providing historical and up-to-date caseload data, such as the number of people using food stamps or in foster care.

Not everyone views the exercise as worthwhile, suggesting the end product would be far from the bible on city
government.

“While Gavin’s ‘Book of Secrets’ could prove helpful in the event of an alien landing, the incoming mayor needs time to prepare for transition,” said termed-out Supervisor Chris Daly, who has been advocating for the Board of Supervisors to select a nominee immediately, giving the person more time to prepare for the job.

But an early selection seems improbable. The Board of Supervisors continues to postpone votes on nominees. It takes six votes by the board to appoint someone as the interim mayor. The board has set up a process for selecting someone, but has yet to employ it. Supervisors have another opportunity to select a mayor on Tuesday — the last board meeting of the year.

The board’s progressive bloc has long battled with the more-moderate Newsom and his allies. But they find themselves at odds with one another over whom to select, leaving no one with the necessary six votes. The current board has two meetings remaining, with its last on Jan. 4. If no selection is made, the decision falls to the new Board of Supervisors, of which four new members will be sworn in Jan. 8.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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