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News, Sucka Free City

Penny for Your Votes: Supervisors Lend Funds to Curious Causes

"Streamlining" and "pandering" are both terms that raise red flags when applied to local government. So it warrants mentioning that San Francisco has streamlined pandering. Under the city's budgetary process, the mayor sets the city's budget and the Board of…
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News, The Snitch Supervisor Sean Elsbernd Doles Out Advice for Newcomers on the Board

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd Doles Out Advice for Newcomers on the Board

When Sean Elsbernd first took his seat on the Board of Supervisors to represent District 7, he was 28 years old, single, and just a few years removed from Claremont McKenna College, where he considered himself a dutiful San Francisco…
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News, Sucka Free City

Super Friends: Overworked S.F. Reps Hire Extra Aides

A bigger government is a hard sell in these times. Or so you'd think listening to national political discourse. But here in San Francisco, it's boom times: The city's budget swelled to more than $7 billion per annum ($7.3 billion…
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News, The Snitch Retiree Healthcare Costs: It's Even Worse Than You Think

Retiree Healthcare Costs: It's Even Worse Than You Think

San Francisco has recently received some dubious press for coming first on an unenviable list. A study by the group California Common Sense placed the City by the Bay atop its unfunded health care liability list. San Francisco's workforce has amassed $4.36…
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News, The Snitch List: What's the Best Voting System for San Francisco?

List: What's the Best Voting System for San Francisco?

Supervisors Sean Elsbernd and Mark Farrell have proposed measures to end Ranked Choice Voting in San Francisco, while David Campos and John Avalos have proposed allowing even more ranked choices on the ballot. What is the best voting system for…
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News, The Snitch Pension Bomb Explodes -- City Deficit to Soar

Pension Bomb Explodes -- City Deficit to Soar

Last night, SF Weekly broke the news that the city's pension obligation could balloon based on the outcome of a retirement board meeting this morning. Well, it has. The city's contribution to its pension plan might jump by $60 million…
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News, The Snitch "Emperor Norton Bridge" Turns 75

"Emperor Norton Bridge" Turns 75

Other than partially collapsing, falling apart, and swelling into a costly boondoggle, San Franciscans don't think much about the Bay Bridge. For 75 years now it's been an ugly duckling and an afterthought. So most of us probably don't remember…
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News, Feature The Billion-Dollar Bet: Which Pension Reform Measure Will Pass and Survive Legal Challenge

The Billion-Dollar Bet: Which Pension Reform Measure Will Pass and Survive Legal Challenge

Illustration by Charlie Powell Until recently, pension reform was largely the obsession of a mafia of nerds. These economists, politicos, journalists, and others brandished alarming financial forecasts and horrifying charts, solemnly prophesizing the sky would fall. And, lo, it…
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News, The Snitch Ross Mirkarimi Might Not Be a Shoo-In for Sheriff After All

Ross Mirkarimi Might Not Be a Shoo-In for Sheriff After All

The sheriff's race is becoming increasingly more interesting to watch. First, we learned last week that Deputy David Wong, a veteran in the sheriff's race, was fired by his boss, who happens to be endorsing Wong's opponent. Now, the Examiner…
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News, Sucka Free City

List: Sticking Points in the Muni Driver Negotiations

The city and leaders of the union representing Muni agreed on a new contract at the last minute of negotiations. What issues had to be resolved? • Muni drivers wanted to spit in your face, while the city's proposal only…
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News, The Snitch Pension Reform: Jeff Adachi Says Mayor's Proposal Doesn't Add Up

Pension Reform: Jeff Adachi Says Mayor's Proposal Doesn't Add Up

Mayor Ed Lee announced his long-awaited pension reform proposal today, partnering with Supervisor Sean Elsbernd to introduce an amendment to the city charter that aims to defray San Francisco's mounting liabilities for employees' retirement benefits. Lee's goal all along has…
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News, The Snitch Muni Workers File Federal Challenge to Proposition G

Muni Workers File Federal Challenge to Proposition G

The union representing Muni operators is seeking to buck the will of San Francisco voters, filing a federal challenge to Proposition G, the 2010 ballot initiative that overhauled labor negotiations for the city's troubled public transit agency.Lawyers for Transportation Workers…
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News, Sucka Free City

Labor-Backed Plan for "Smoothing" Pension Plans Deemed Illegal

With as many as three different pension reform charter amendments clogging this year's ballot, it's now more obvious than ever that there's no easy way to solve the city's runaway benefits situation. It also turns out there's no smooth way.…
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News, Sucka Free City

List: How the Unions Will Fix the Pension Crisis

Last week, San Francisco's labor leaders released their plan to reduce the pension costs of city workers. This is a highly controversial issue: What do the unions propose? • That they be given time and a half for the hours…
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News, The Snitch Never Mind the City's Budget Crisis: Supervisors, Mayor to Get Pay Raise

Never Mind the City's Budget Crisis: Supervisors, Mayor to Get Pay Raise

Closing a multimillion-dollar budget deficit is no easy task -- and handing out raises to elected officials will only make it that much harder. The Examiner reports today that in the face of a $300 million budget crisis, the Civil…
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News, The Snitch School Board Wants Higher Pay, Budget Crisis Looms

School Board Wants Higher Pay, Budget Crisis Looms

San Francisco's education board wants to make more money for the job it does. And although it's not quite like UC executives who are demanding an increase in their budget-sucking pensions, it could come across as similarly unfair considering the…
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News, The Snitch Can San Francisco Tap Into Deborah Madden's Pension?

Can San Francisco Tap Into Deborah Madden's Pension?

Disgraced former crime lab technician Deborah Madden will not face any criminal charges, despite triggering a scandal that led to millions of dollars in city costs and a literal Get Out of Jail Free card for thousands of accused drug…
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News, The Snitch Harvey Milk's Chair -- Can It Be Given Away?

Harvey Milk's Chair -- Can It Be Given Away?

You'd think snagging Harvey Milk's old chair in the Board of Supervisors chambers would be an honor his political heirs would stand up for to sit down in.But you'd be wrong -- three times wrong. Supervisor Sean Elsbernd should know.…
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News, The Snitch Ranked-Choice Voting Will Force Politicians To Swallow Their Pride

Ranked-Choice Voting Will Force Politicians To Swallow Their Pride

Supervisors Sean Elsbernd and Mark Farrell have proposed measures to end Ranked Choice Voting in San Francisco, while David Campos and John Avalos have proposed allowing even more ranked choices on the ballot. What is the best voting system for…
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News, The Snitch Supervisors Settle on 'Clusterf*ck' Process to Pick Next Mayor -- Possible Decision on Dec. 7

Supervisors Settle on 'Clusterf*ck' Process to Pick Next Mayor -- Possible Decision on Dec. 7

The process of deciding how the Board of Supervisors will pick the next mayor required tedious procedural discussions recalling consumptive Dostoevskian soliloquies, an hourlong recess, and culminated with the quote "you can vote for the amendment to amend or you…
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