Newsom to hold face-to-face budget talks 

With The City facing a historic budget deficit, Mayor Gavin Newsom is hoping to get some fresh ideas from city residents on how to deal with basic city problems, including how to increase revenues, improve city services and tackle the ongoing budget hole.

The mayor will spend Thursday in West Portal and the Excelsior neighborhoods having 15-minute, one-on-one conversations with residents as part of his ongoing Budget Open Door Day.

Newsom received 58 requests from residents wanting some face time with the mayor, but there is only enough time for 20 meetings. As a result, 20 names were selected from a random drawing, said Tony Winnicker, Newsom’s spokesman.

Newsom takes detailed, hand-written notes during each appointment, and follows up on every issue and idea he hears, Winnicker said.

“To the extent there is an idea to save money or how The City could operate more efficiently to deliver a service better, he will come right back to City Hall, go straight to the relative department and make it a priority,” Winnicker said. “That’s the reason he does these — to hear from people directly about their concerns.”

It’s the second open door day Newsom has hosted. The first was in the Tenderloin and Mission districts, where residents came in with a slew of ideas and concerns, ranging from budget ideas to concerns over crossing guards near schools.

“The silent majority of San Francisco residents never have the opportunity or time to come to City Hall to attend a public hearing in middle of week,” Winnicker said. “This is a chance to hear from people without the filters of advocacy groups.”

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