In his own way, Mayor Ed Lee is a bit like Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz. After a couple of disastrous political appointments, he opted to stick to his own backyard, appointing Supervisor Carmen Chu to replace Phil Ting as Assessor-Recorder -- and, today, appointing Chu aide Katy Tang to succeed Chu.
Or, as Gale put it, "if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with."
The pressing question isn't why Lee chose Chu and Tang -- these are the safe, solid, and obvious choices. It's why he took so long. Folks we spoke with in City Hall have no idea.
See Also: Assessor Carmen Chu: What Comes Next
"I just don't understand the mayor's decision-making process," said one City Hall denizen. This was repeated to us several different times in several different ways.
In his speech today, Lee mentioned undertaking a great deal of outreach to the District 4 community -- which emphasized a desire for "continuity." That certainly sounds like District 4, a highly residential and none-too-flashy locale where people are more concerned about quality-of-life issues than the values people who use the term "San Francisco Values" assign to that phrase.
In promoting Chu's 29-year-old aide, a lifelong resident of the district and Lowell grad, it seems likely Lee will please her constituents. "Katy is smart. She is cautious. And she will be conservative -- not politically conservative, but she won't be making bold moves. Her district will appreciate that," predicts one City Hall politico. "She'll be elected in November, and re-elected next November."
There were plenty of political overtones woven into this appointment -- choose a mom! Choose Rose Pak's underling! In the end, however, Lee appointed a twentysomething Asian woman with solid financial credentials to replace the Asian woman who was appointed to the board as a twentysomething with solid financial credentials.
Toward the tail end of this morning's ceremony, Lee noted that both Chu and Tang will be sworn in Wednesday -- "in haste" so as to get on with the city's pressing business.
Apparently, now he's in a hurry.