By SABRINA SHANKMAN
Two cases of mass confusion and complications on the Board of Supervisors in the last two weeks, and our man Campos has been on top of his game.
Yesterday, supes railed against Mayor Newsom for using a clerical screw-up in the Planning Department to help benefit his fundraising crony and Mission restaurateur Gus Murad. Newsom vetoed an effort to correct the clerical error, allowing for Murad’s projects to exceed the normal height restrictions for the Mission corridor. That didn’t sit well with Campos. “I really think that the residents of the city, and specifically the people who live in District 9, deserve better,” he said. Supervisor Daly, who called Campos “a better politician” than he, used the opportunity to rail Newsom’s “Willie Brown-style pay-to-play policies.” Ouch.
Then we’ve got Campos waiving an accusatory finger at the Public Utilities Commission for a fishy-looking no-bid contract. The PUC hired AECOM for a $26 million water project—the very same project that AECOM (and its partner company Parson’s Water) had designed the RFP for.
Campos was the solitary nay-vote as the supes approved the no-bid contract with AECOM. In its defense, the PUC explained that the only other company interested was awarded another contract with the city—i.e., there’s a shortage of large companies that can do this kind of work. Any other companies out there?
But still, Campos said, “I do believe that process matters.” Sweet deals that smack of political favor-making deserve some scrutiny, don’t they? “This,” Campos said, “is an example of how not to do contracting.”
Highlights and lowlights from last week’s meeting:
Not everyone loves Gap founder Don Fisher’s proposal to build a museum in the Presidio to house his collection of modern art. But the supes seem to. Campos was one of nine to support a resolution backing his museum in the Presidio. Dunno what impact this will have as the national park is outside the city’s jurisdiction. Ross Mirakarimi and Chris Daly voted against the resolution.
Slow your roll there, marijuana dispensers. At the mayor’s request, the supes voted to change the wording of medical marijuana legislation to stress that the dispensaries must be nonprofit. Just because you can legally sell pot to those who qualify doesn’t mean you can get rich off it, ya hear?
After four hours of public testimony on proposed health service cuts, the supes voted to put off until June 2 a special election. That June event would ask voters to approve new taxes to help with next year’s estimated $576 million budget shortfall. Also included in the election will be a vote on a “new vehicle impact fee” to mitigate costs of wear and tear on city roads, and a new tax to discourage energy consumption that causes a large carbon footprint.