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Monday, December 10, 2007

Golden Gate Skateparks and Venezuelan Wage-Fixing — It's SFGovernmentInAction!!!

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2007 at 8:14 AM


Monday, December 10:

10:00 a.m. – Government Audit & Oversight Committee

Today this committee will also still be talking over the mayor’s proposal to make parks no fun at all. How’s this for irony: the more they kick the homeless out of Golden Gate Park, the more a reasonable person might want to stay out after dark cooking s’mores — except that it’ll be illegal because that’s what homeless people do. Laugh-till-you-cry, people: laugh-till-you-cry.

But we’ve covered all that before.

Hey — quick trivia question: how much does the city pay for rent-a-cops to guard its MUNI buildings and all the money they take from fares? $5? $10? $15-an-hour to hire a really burly teenager? Actually, the city’s just about to enter into a three-year rent-a-cop agreement for $17 million and change. That’s Just over $5.5 million a year, paying for 226,679 man-hours of guard time (my math calculates that as 109 full-time security employees … but that’s just a guess) to protect MUNI.

According to the proposed contract, that’s broken down into 58,035 hours of armed guard service, with guards making $27.73 an hour – which is up $3 from the last contract. Unarmed guards only make $18.95 – and that’s down almost $5 from the last contract — which is especially interesting because the MTA will be paying for almost twice as many unarmed guard hours for this contract as the last one.

What’s that about? According to documents, they’ll be expanding unarmed security guard coverage of city bus yards from weekends only to 7 nights a week, “to protect against trespassing, vandalism, theft and graffiti.”

Taggers, now ya know.

10:00 a.m. – Public Safety Committee

It’s “Deep Questions Week” over at San Francisco’s most dramatic committee. Chris Daly’s got questions. He wants to know about the city’s “Gang Injuction” lists, that put limitations on the actions of specific people who are judged to be dangerous gang members. So he’s asked for a hearing.

Specifically, he wants to know: How did individuals get placed on the gang injunction list? How many adult individuals with only juvenile convictions have been placed on the gang injunction list? How do individuals get off the injunction list?

Get OFF the list? Well, Chris, if you could get off the list then it wouldn’t be a violation of your civil rights, which would defeat the whole point of having a list in the first place. Some people just need to be unreasonably searched and seized.

Otherwise these are all good questions. But I’ve got a better one.

You see, Gerardo Sandoval is also proposing a law for the Public Safety committee to sign off on. His new law would allow defense attorneys and the Public Defender’s office to have access to “obtain community safety camera recordings” in order to defend their clients.

Here’s my really good question: they can’t already?

I mean, isn’t the city constitutionally required to turn over potentially useful evidence to defense attorneys? Did we mention the part already about the gang injunction list that nobody knows how you get on or off?

1 p.m. – Land Use Committee

Today this committee will spend most of their time looking at two things:

1) Stop signs. They’ll be spending way more time on stop signs than is healthy.

2)The mortgage crisis.

Michela Alioto-Pier will be holding a hearing on the mortgage crisis; Gerardo Sandoval has a resolution “urging the Mayor’s Office of Housing to create an emergency fund to prevent foreclosures and preserve home ownership”; Tom Ammiano has a resolution “Urging banks to work with the City to address the affects of subprime lending and calling on the Federal Reserve to take action at the national level to end predatory loan practices”; Ammiano and Sophie Maxwell have a resolution “establishing a San Francisco Fair Lending Working Group, comprised of industry, community, and City representatives, to study and recommend responses to the current mortgage foreclosure crisis and to provide an initial progress report to the Board of Supervisors within 45 days of its first meeting.”

Wow – if we had any record at all of actually solving problems, I’d be so confident right now.

Tuesday, December 11 , 2 p.m. – Full Board of Supervisors

Let’s make this quick. Here’s what the Supes are doing that you might care about:

Debating the Charter Amendment creating an Affordable Housing fund;

Fixing prevailing wages for a number of blue-collar jobs for the city (Venezuela?);

Transferring $250,000 from the “Port Operating” Fund to the “Fuel Spill Clean-up Activities fund”;

Seeing if they want to build a new skate park in Golden Gate Park;

Deciding if they want to ban alcohol in children’s play areas in parks;

And requiring businesses that sell children’s cold medicine “to post point-of-sale warnings on administering cough and cold medicines to infants and children younger than 6 years.”

Do you really want more details? Do you really?

Wednesday, December 12, 1 p.m. – Budget and Finance Committee

Yadda yadda … huh?

I’m unaccountably fascinated by this item: “Ordinance amending Public Works Code Sections 2.1.1 to update the cafe tables and chairs permit fee and making environmental findings.”

We have a café tables and chairs permit fee? Seriously? I’m gonna look that up.

Wow, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Is there anything in San Francisco you don’t need a permit for?

Thursday, December 13, 1 p.m. – A very special Rules Committee

This meeting will have public hearings on Homelessness, HIV/AIDS in the Latino community, and a special session where the Supervisors consult their attorneys about lawsuits. If you can only attend one public meeting this week and miss the Public Safety Committee, this seems like a pretty good bet for low-intensity drama.

And isn’t that all we ask from our government, in the end?

(Get your intel on The Man's agenda every Monday at 9 a.m. with SFGovernmentInAction.)

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David Downs


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