2:05 p.m. The gavel comes down and President Chiu is welcoming all to the meeting. Much less crowded than last week, but I wonder how many are here for the bingo vote later?
2:15 p.m. District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi inquires about the funding for certified nursing assistant positions that were supposed to be restored in the budget. Controller Rosenfield responds that there is some money restored for them, but not entirely. They’re advised that should more money be needed for the nurses, they should develop a supplemental appropriation, rather than trying to amend the budget at this time.
2:21 p.m. District 6 Supervisor Chris Daly uses the chance to bring up the larger battle between the mayor and the board, referring to money restored to keep the SE Mission Geriatric Center at 3905 Mission St. District 11 Supervisor John Avalos comes to the defense of Mayor Newsom’s words and promises, saying the closure of the center was already planned and should not be exploited.
2:22 p.m. And District 7 Supervisor Sean Elsbernd is unhappy about the $45 million from the budget placed in reserve last week.
2:26 p.m. District 9 Supervisor David Campos comes to the defense of the clinic, saying the $36K restored to the clinic was one of the reasons he voted for the budget, and “as I understand it, there was a disconnect” between the Department of Public Health and the mayor’s office.
2:29 p.m. Mirkarimi again brings up the issue of accountability for the mayor’s words and promises, saying he fears mid-year cuts coming in 2010.
2:30 p.m. Budget voting starts with funding of the Community Justice Center, which Daly separated out from the rest of the budget last week. The funding passes 7-4, with Campos, Daly, Mar and Mirkarimi voting no.
2:30 p.m. Ah…the main budget! Final passage of the budget is confirmed as the board votes 9-2, with guess who, District 4 Supervisor Carmen Chu and Elsbernd voting no, just as they did last week.
2:35 p.m. Another controversial measure – the proposed vehicle licensing fee has been unanimously…referred to someone else. The board votes to refer it to the budget committee for further consideration.
2:36 p.m. Bingo! Is finally passed, increasing the maximum allowable pot for charity bingo games from $250 to $500.
2:38 p.m. Daly gives a resounding “no” when asked his vote on an agreement for renaming Candlestick Park, which passes 8-3. Eric Mar and John Avalos also vote no.
2:43 p.m. A bevy of legislation is approved, including the approval of a new helipad for the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay
2:45 p.m. President Chiu introduces a resolution to put San Francisco on the record in support of President Obama’s proposed national health care reform plan.
2:50 p.m Avalos announces that this Sunday is Jerry Day! Celebrating Jerry Garcia at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in McLaren Park (which he notes is actually in District 10, but hey.) Mirkarimi also notes that this year’s Lovevolution may have to charge fees this year, due to a shortage of funds, due to the economic crisis.
2:56 p.m. Public comment. Feel free to go get a drink. Comments are currently in Arabic.
3:02 p.m. Public comment is put on hold for a special comment regarding the Greater Union Square Business Improvement District. Don’t worry, we’ll continue later.
3:10 p.m. President Chiu describes the process, which will be decided by votes by those attending. We have public testimony on the business improvement district. It seems to run like this: in exchange for extra fees and taxes paid by businesses and property owners in the district, you get extra police officers, street cleaning services and garbage collection. Hmm.
3:13 p.m. Fairfield Shopping Center, Kimpton hotels, are all out in favor of expanding the BID.
3:18 p.m. As a matter of fact everyone appears to be in support. Looks like a slam-dunk for President Chiu.
3:22 p.m. Nevermind, here is one opponent. Objection? Businesses pay taxes, they should already expect these basic services. Why pay a premium for services they should expect anyway?
3:36 p.m. Walter Paulson’s musical ode to Union Square earns applause, closing with the lines “if you want to find a place to fix, please make it that place.”
3:48 p.m. One commenter says the reason there are problems in the area that the BID is trying to improve is because of budget cuts, and problems with the city homeless shelter system.
3:54 p.m. District 2 Supervisor Michaela Alioto-Pier gives a special commendation to Alberto and Lili Mier, long-time owners of the Mexican restaurant La Canasta. “A testament to what Union Street was, a testament to what Union Street is, and a testament to what Union Street will continue to be.” Also a commendation to Murd Pie clothing, also on Union Street.
4:08 p.m. Our weekly reminder – we only have 18 weeks until the rapture. November 28 is the given date, according to our weekly commenter.
4:19 p.m. After another flurry fo legislation, all that’s left is to hear the tally of the Greater Union Square Business Improvement District vote, results of which aren’t expected until about 5:50 p.m. Sinnce that’s waaaayyyy north in that area that’s not the Mission (not nearly enough burritos, beer and mustaches,) we’re calling it a day! See you next week.