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Monday, July 13, 2009

SF Gov InAction: All of Life's a Game Show -- and Gaaaaavin Newsom Merely Wants To Give Away Fabulous Prizes!

Posted By on Mon, Jul 13, 2009 at 11:59 AM

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Monday, July 13, 9 a.m. - Rules Committee The first thing one will notice about this meeting is the massive pile of litigation that the city is hoping to settle out of court: A tower of Legal Babel stretching so high that it is an affront to God's own law firm of Cherubim, Seraphim, & Murdock. There's nothing new about this. People are always suing the city, and the city often settles out of court -- making the job of City Attorney a cross between Perry Mason and Ed McMahon: "According to my surprise witness, you could already be a winner!" But usually these cases are dispensed with one or two at a time. Today there are seven, ranging from a proposed $25,000 settlement for the PUC encroaching on a residential property to $312,000 for claims against the city's "Uptown Parking Corporation." In all, about a $800,000 is being dispensed by the City Attorney's Prize Patrol. Congratulations to all you lucky winners!

click to enlarge Your Host, Gaaaaavin Newsom -- tell 'em what they won, Ballard!
  • Your Host, Gaaaaavin Newsom -- tell 'em what they won, Ballard!
The only other items up for discussion at this meeting are two charter amendments: One is the budget cycle amendment (two years, with a five-year financial plan, blah blah blah) proposed by Your Host Gaaaaaavin Newsom!, along with special guests Chiu, Mirkarimi, Avalos, and Campos.

The other is an amendment, proposed by John Avalos, eliminating the 48.7 hour limit on the work week for firefighters and replacing it with a 52-hour work week, among other measures.

"Yikes!" says Your Host Gaaaaaavin Newsom! "Expect that to be red hot!"

You know, the man really did miss his calling as a game show host. Instead of campaigning for governor, he should be traveling around the state asking people if they want to choose door number two or the mystery box.

He'd barely have to tweak his stump speech.

10:30 a. m. - City Operations 7 Neighborhood Services Committee

This meeting has only two items on the agenda, and one of them -- I swear to God -- is a measure increasing the prize limit in charity bingo games from $250 to $500.

It's proposed by the surprisingly broad coalition of Dufty, Avalos, Campos, and Elsbernd.

The other is a hearing about giving a North Point restaurant a liquor license.

I think we can safely move on.

1 p.m. - Land use and Economic Development Committee

Hey, you know that last meeting, the one we just moved on from? Well, this one's pretty much like that.

The only item in this small meeting worth of note is the ongoing proposal by David Chiu and Bevan Dufty to require the owners of vacant or abandoned buildings to register them with the city, maintain the grounds, and keep them in good condition.

A semantic question: If the owner of an abandoned building does all that, in what way is the building "abandoned"?

I know, I know, that's the point, but still -- it seems like we'd need a new term for it.

Oh well. Back to you, Gaaaaaavin Newsom!

"Hi there! This is Gaaaaavin Newsom, reminding you to eat healthful organic fruits and vegetables!"

You see? His stump speech doesn't have to change a bit.

Tuesday, July 14, 2 p.m. - Full Board of Supervisors

Man, we're two weeks out from the budget agreement, and the supes are voting on whether to raise fees. Yes, we raised that many fees.

Actually, a lot of post-budget-agreement work is being done at this meeting ... to the extent you can call voting "work." Chris Daly will probably make a speech. Some of us are hoping that now, every time he makes a speech, he'll quote a different classic movie from the '90s. It could be his thing.

"You know what you're saying to Gavin Newsom?" he'll ask John Avalos in yet another very uncomfortable moment. "You know what the Board of Supervisors is saying to Gavin Newsom by voting for this budget deal? We're saying: 'I'll Call ya. Your number still 911? ALLLLLL Righty then.' That's what we're saying!"

Actually, Daly could get two chances to make very uncomfortable speeches today, as his proposed charter amendment allowing the supervisors to designate some city spending as mandatory -- whether the Mayor likes it or not -- is also coming up for a vote today.

"The Dude abides," Daly wills say, looking out over the assembled supervisors. Then he'll look into the camera, straight at Gaaaaaavin Newsom, wherever he is in California today: "You human paraquat!"

Wednesday, July 15, 1:30 p.m. - Budget and Finance Committee

Most of this meeting is stuff we've seen before -- including the bizarre charter amendment to authorize taxing people who have motor vehicles for the privilege of operating one in San Francisco, if and when the state allows cities to do such a thing.

Other repeat items include:

• The proposed parcel tax to put to the voters this year.

• A proposed ballot initiative allowing the city to rename Candlestick Park.

• A .50 percent sales tax increase to fund Human Services and Public Protection.

• The "new and improved" Greater Union Square Business District.

There more, but, honestly -- don't you have anything better to do? Go. Live a little. Let me roll the ending credits.

"This is Gaaaavin Newsom saying thanks for tuning in to San Francisco government! San Francisco government is a Don Fisher and Paul Getty production, distributed by PG&E, and sponsored by ClearChannel. Remember to eat healthful organic fruits and vegetables, pick up your cigarette butts, and compost -- or I'll be fining you! So long!"

Photo | Brainchildvn

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Benjamin Wachs

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