By SABRINA SHANKMAN
New battles in familiar wars were front and center in Tuesday’s supervisors meeting, with Chris Daly offering up some below-the-belt blows to Our Fair Mayor in light of last week’s planning fiasco, and Campos’ continued affront on sole-source contracting.
After announcing he’s sending a letter of inquiry to the “Ethics Shop” over yet another apparent conflict of interest in some upcoming planning, Daly laid the smack down on Newsom. Here are the highlights:
• “The mayor of San Francisco, as far as I can tell, is just looking to please potential donors in his gubernatorial bid, which we all know is not going anywhere anyway.”
• “I wouldn’t be doing this today if it wasn’t for the debacle last week on Mission Street with an error in the Planning Department that was basically signed off on by a mayoral veto and then four members of this board of supervisors.”
• “We have to remember the worst times and last week, I think, was the worst time in about 8 years in local government on planning and land use decisions where money was king.”
Yes, I know this is supposed to be about Campos, but hold on a minute.
The gist of the new issue, according to Daly, is this: Michael Yarney is part of Newsom’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, which coordinates some planning and land use issues on behalf of the administration. He’s also on the board of the Friends of City Planning, a non-profit known to receive “significant contributions from those with development interests in San Francisco,” Daly says. So a non-profit board member who relies on donations from developers also gets to make decisions about city planning projects? hmmmm.
Okay, back to Campos.
Our guy downtown submitted a resolution urging the House of Reps and the US Senate to look into the “wisdom – or lack of wisdom” in using the so-called “e-verified program.” The stimulus bill awaiting Obama’s signature, Campos explained, would require local governments like San Francisco that are … stimulated … to report using this “e-verified program.”
This is a pilot online verification system that’s supposed to help employers check the immigration status of their workers. But the trouble is, the US GAO office and other orgs have found that it sometimes IDs documented immigrants, creating a whole boat-load of problems. The transgender community has a dog in this fight too, as Campos explained, because it is unclear how they will be identified.
Campos also sent a letter to the police chief in response to Monday’s hearing at the Public Safety Committee on racial profiling. Campos wants the details: stats and figures on how traffic stops are made, who’s making them, and who’s getting stopped. He also wants to know what kind of “cultural competency” training the police department will be implementing in the future.
The supes approved a resolution awarding a lease to a Nevada non-profit (Pilara), but not before Campos stepped up for a bit of due diligence. While he admitted that this situation is one where a sole-source contract is appropriate – the dilapidated Pier 24 has been deteriorating and unused for years and no one is fighting for the contract – Campos questioned Port Leasing Manager Jeff Bauer to make sure all dollars were accounted for and the standards were up to snuff. In the end, Pilara got the green light with a unanimous vote.
And finally … Whipper snappers and hoodlums beware! Former police commissioner Campos made a request for a hearing in the Public Safety Committee on budget cuts to the juvenile probation department. As budgets statewide are slashed, Campos said it’s important to “keep an eye on how budget impacts our efforts to fight crime in some neighborhoods.”