Newsom takes questions on KFOG 

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom this morning continued to express his disdain for his recent media coverage during a KFOG radio Q&A session with callers, but also started talking politics. 

Callers asked Newsom how the budget shortfall will affect schools without the rainy day reserve, the need for retaining corporate companies such as Chevron and how rental housing giant Citiapartments affects thousands of tenants with its alleged mismanagement.

In regard to the school district, Newsom said he’s unsure how to solve budget problems, and does not have any specific answers. 

“I wish I had a quick answer, but I don’t,” he said. He continued to say based on his state campaigning experience that on top of The City’s $522 million shortfall, the state cuts are going to be more severe than advertised.

“I cannot over promise. I’m not sure we can solve them,’’ he said.

Newsom said the rise of other companies such as in the biotech field and Salesforce has made up for Chevron leaving The City. He also mentioned when he personally asked the CEO of Chevron why he left, the CEO responded with, “Because I never got a call from City Hall."

Then he went on to say how important it is to maintain a recruitment and retention economic stimulus plan.

Newsom said he had to be cautious about commenting on Citiapartments, a major city property owner struggling with financial problems, because of pending legal issues, but said there is $29 billion worth of property assessment in appeals.

“This is our property tax base. This is one of the reasons why our deficit (is so large),’’ he said.

When asked by the hosts what his next big goals were, he said he has always been passionate about two things: homelessness and poverty and truancy – noting that he makes calls on the weekends to families with chronic truancy problems to talk about it.

One caller asked about Montana, his daughter. 

“She’s glorious. What a gift. What an extraordinary thing,’’ he said.

Newsom said a major reason why he dropped out of the race was because his wife had called him after he had been gone for several days, implying she felt like a single mother. 

In between questions Newsom talked about Muni and increased enforcement, the adjustment plan for the buses on December 5, The City’s healthcare program and how relaxed he’s been the past two weeks.

“Everyone’s going, ‘What happened to this guy? Why is he in such a good mood?’’’ he said. 

Newsom made several remarks about how media has been chronically covering his whereabouts.

“I left city hall about 20 minutes ago. The American flag is still flying. We have not replaced it with a Canadian flag,’’ he said.
 

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Kamala Kelkar

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