Mayor uses Shipyard to announce budget, Monday

Pub date May 30, 2008
WriterSarah Phelan
SectionPolitics Blog

It’s 4 PM on a Friday afternoon, that hour when most employees are counting the seconds to the weekend—and wishing that Monday morning wasn’t only 65 hours away.

But does the Mayor’s Office know what time it is?

And if so, why have we only just found out that Mayor Gavin Newsom is planning to make his Monday morning budget announcement, at 10: 30 am, June 2, at the Hunters Point Shipyard?

The announcement will be made at
View Larger Map“>606 Hunter’s Point Shipyard.
(Unless, Newsom is planning a repeat of his disappearing Olympic Torch stunt.)

The location happens to be the San Francisco Police Department’s Tactical Operations center. Press are being asked to present press credentials for entry.

Could it be that this announcement is being made at the very last minute because the choice of location gives Newsom the appearance of impropriety? Newsom backing Prop.G on the June 3 ballot, the measure that developer Lennar has spent over $3.5 million in an effort to grab even more of San Francisco’s waterfront real estate, adding highly desirable land at Candlestick Point to the shipyard’s wastelands, so it can develop even more luxury condos?

Or could it be because he didn’t want to tip of supporters of Prop. F, the competing measure on the June 3 ballot that requires that 50 percent of development in the Bayview is affordable to people who actually live there—households that tend to make $68,000 and under and can’t afford to buy $500,000 condos and million-dollar townhouses?

Whatever the reasons, the running dogs of the press weren’t the only ones left in the dark about the budget locale.

No one on the Board of Supervisors was informed until 4PM, Friday afternoon, either. That’s when a mayoral aide came by the office of Sup. Ross Mirkarimi, who sits on the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee, to deliver the news of this hitherto top secret location.

Normally, Board members get an invitation at least 10-14 days beforehand.

Mirkarimi calls the move “highly unorthodox and outrageous.”

“What’s really unforgivable is that we are facing the worst budget deficit in San Francisco’s history,” Mirkarimi said. “The Mayor needs to be fostering collaboration, and enlisting the support of everyone he can, especially those who have influence on the budget process. It’s unfortunate that the casualty in all this is our desire to work together.”