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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Follow the Bouncing Bill: Alioto-Pier's New Aide Says Job Was Spur-of-the-Moment Offer

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:12 PM

click to enlarge Newly minted Alioto-Pier legislative aide Bill Barnes displays decor he no longer needs - FACEBOOK
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  • Newly minted Alioto-Pier legislative aide Bill Barnes displays decor he no longer needs
When former Chris Daly legislative aide Bill Barnes quit his post as Assemblywoman Fiona Ma's chief of staff last year, we asked him if the rumors were true -- was he going to work for Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier? Barnes told us no, and that was that.

But, for those of you who follow city politics with the rapacity my mother watches shows featuring cops, vampires, or a combination of both already know, Alioto-Pier told Melissa Griffin that Barnes is now coming to work for her (the novelty of this setup is that Barnes is a friend and former lege aide for Daly -- and, to put it mildly, Alioto-Pier isn't inviting Daly to her party anytime soon). 

Reached for comment this afternoon, Barnes told SF Weekly that, no, there hasn't been any grand plan to get him into Alioto-Pier's office slowly moving forward over the past year. He says he got a call a couple of weeks ago informing him that Alioto-Pier's lege aide Catherine Stefani is going out on maternity leave -- and requesting he take her place. In this economy, you don't turn down a job offer without a good reason.

"When you first asked me about this six or seven months ago, [a job in Alioto-Pier's office] wasn't in the realm of possibilities. Someone had to go on maternity leave," he said. Barnes only expects this job to last several months -- and he won't be getting benefits or other perks full-time employees receive.

Barnes' contract as a researcher for the firefighters' union lapses on the 30th (after the budget battle is done with, his position becomes unnecessary). He expects to start in Alioto-Pier's office on July 1 -- and downplayed the oddity of a man with his progressive credentials going to work for one of the city's more conservative representatives: "It's ultimately the supervisor who is elected by his constituency to represent them, not the staff member."

Regarding the opportunity to be one of those elected representatives, Barnes said it's too early to rule out a purported run for District 10 supervisor.

"I'm just coming back to City Hall to do work for a few months. I haven't ruled it out, but I'm not doing a lot of work to rule it in, either."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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