Newsom’s advice to his appointees – call me first 

Mayor Gavin Newsom offered some advice to his latest commission appointments on Thursday: Keep me in the loop, or else.

Newsom said there were only two circumstances where he “wasn’t given a heads up” by commission members, once when a commission removed a department head at 2 a.m. We assume he was talking about the removal of Heidi Machen from the now-defunct Taxi Commission.

But the second “circumstance” is still less clear. Newsom never did explain why he jettisoned Leah Shahum, Peter Mezey and Wil Din from the MTA Board back in 2008, although the move was widely viewed as political. Shahum, former head of the Bicycle Coalition, was an outspoken commissioner who was often at odds with Newsom.

“I do hope and expect that if I do call you, take the call, and then if you have very strong opinions that are in contrast to the opinions that have been expressed by the administration, please just give us a heads up,” Newsom said at the swearing-in.

At the swearing-in on Thursday, Newsom also gave some advice about commissioners playing politics.

“Don’t play politics,” he said. “This is not about you. This about the people we represent and the people we serve.”

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Brent Begin

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