Progressive supervisors block mayoral appointments

Pub date January 3, 2011
SectionPolitics Blog

UPDATED: Progressives on the Board of Supervisors have finally started to push back on Mayor Gavin Newsom for his petulant refusal to vacate Room 200 unless his conditions for choosing a successor mayor are met, with the Rules Committee today blocking nine [UPDATE: seven] of 10 of the mayor’s committee and commission appointments.

Led by Sups. David Campos and Eric Mar, the three-member committee has been voting to continue consideration of the appointees to a future date at the discretion of Chairman Campos, even those who they voice support for. But they are trying to force a more equitable approach to governing the city during this transition period. The meeting is ongoing at this writing and can be viewed live here.

The one exception so far has been San Francisco Public Utilities Commission appointee Vince Courtney, with Mar and Campos voicing the urgency of filling the appointment on a body that is now moving forward Clean Power SF and other important initiatives. But they have blocked the appointment of Andrew Wolfram, Richard Johns, and Karl Kasz to the Historic Preservation Commission, Harry Kim and Herb Cohn to the Relocation Appeals Board, Florence Kong to the City Hall Preservation Advisory Board, Leona Bridges to the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors, and Michael Kim and Leslie Katz to the Port Commission.

Former Sup. Amos Brown lashed out at the move, telling the committee, “I’m appalled to witness what’s happening here.”

But progressives have been equally appalled at Newsom for delaying today’s scheduled swearing in as lieutenant governor, reportedly to Jan. 10 after the new board is sworn in, and for demanding that the supervisors guarantee him that they will only support one of his preferred moderate caretakers for the interim mayor position. Newsom’s office did not return a Guardian call for comment on today’s meeting.

UPDATE 1:25 PM: After hearing more than an hour’s worth of testimony in support of Bridges, the committee unanimously voted to recommend her nomination to the MTA, citing that agency’s urgent need for a nominee from the African-American community who has a strong financial management background. The full board will consider her nomination tomorrow.

UPDATE 2:20 PM: Shortly before adjourning, the committee also unanimously recommended Katz be appointed to the Port Commission, saying that agency urgently needs another good appointee, although Mar indicated he didn’t think Kim was right for the position and that nomination was continued.