Please join City Democratic Club at our Endorsements session for the November election.
When: Thurs., Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Schroeder’s back room
Who: Dues-paid members
On August 20, 2009, the Issues and Endorsements Committee (Executive Committee members Heidi Machen, Clay Harrell, Mike Ho and joined by Erik Cummins (last hour of voting) and club members JoAnn Scordino and Darcy Brown) met to consider positions for the upcoming election. Proponents and opponents of all measures were invited to present. Recommendations and analysis for the full membership vote on September 17, 2009, follow:
A. INSTITUTING A TWO YEAR BUDGET CYCLE: SUPPORT (5-0)
The city budget process would become a biennial instead of annual event. Also changes timing on labor contracts and, it allows Controller to propose financial policies to the Board. Pro: Forces more advance planning and city must consider costs of labor consistent with budget considerations rather than after the fact. Con: Labor will no longer have benefit of “hidden cost;” also, measure doesn’t go far enough because it allows Supervisors to designate “adjustable budget” departments which can modify their budget mid-cycle as needed.
B. NUMBER OF SUPERVISOR’S AIDES: OPPOSE (3 No, 2 Yes)
Presently, the City Charter limits Supervisors to 2 aides per each office. This measure strikes that restriction without details of any future structure. Pro: The Supervisors are overwhelmed in trying to keep up with constituent needs, especially in this electronic age. Also, language limiting number of staff has no place in the City’s Charter; and, Supervisors haven’t specifically proposed adding more staff. Con: Bad time in the economy to consider adding to the city’s workforce, especially considering recent layoffs.
C. CANDLESTICK PARK NAMING RTS: NO POSITION
(3 Yes, 1 No, 2 No position)
This measure will allow the Forty Niners to contract away the naming rights of the park, subject to city approval, with 50% of the revenue directed towards rehiring of recreation center directors. Pro: City needs the money; this is projected to earn $1.5 million yearly revenues. Naming rights, by themselves, are not terribly intrusive to everyday quality of life and subject to city approval. Con: Why does this measure keep coming back? Voters already opposed naming rights in 2004. Revenue projection is small when balanced against the harm of commercializing public assets.
D. CREATING MID-MARKET SIGN DISTRICT: OPPOSE (4 No, 1 Yes)
This measure would amend a 2002 ballot measure in which 79.1% of the voters banned new private property advertising, by allowing an exception for theater-type and roof top advertising signs on two blocks of Market Street between 5th and 7th Streets. Pro: Promises to revitalize the neighborhood and fund arts and youth organizations. Has broad support from endorsers. Con: It could give additional ammunition to litigants challenging the city-wide ban on new advertising passed in 2002. Windfall would hand over 60-80% of the profit to property owners and does not specifically identify where the remainder would go.
E. ADVERTISING ON CITY PROPERTY: NO POSITION (3 Yes, 3 No)
This measure codifies the previous voter policy mandate (62% voted yes) to ban new advertising on city property including all street furniture. Pro: Consistent with previous policy; caps visual pollution and commercialization on city assets. Con: Reduces future revenue stream for the city. And, presently, policymakers can still restrict size and overall appearance to address concerns.
S.F. City Attorney: Dennis Herrera Endorse 5-0; S.F.Treasurer: Jose Cisneros Endorse 5-0.