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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Facebook, Twitter, Texting Barred from Mayoral Succession Process

Posted By on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 11:59 AM

click to enlarge Come to think of it, a Sorting Hat would be a very easy way to settle on the next mayor
  • Come to think of it, a Sorting Hat would be a very easy way to settle on the next mayor

Earlier this year, we reported that several members of the Board of Supervisors are Facebooking up a storm during meetings. Eric Mar is even known as "Supervisor Facebook."

No one seemed to give a damn. The times, they are a-changing, it would seem. Yet a method of getting the supes to stop Facebooking, texting, and otherwise during meetings has finally been devised. It's called "Appointing a New Mayor."

Per the "Proposed Process For Successor Mayor Nomination And Appointment" the board will take up today, following the nomination process "laptops will be closed, cell phones turned off, and written or verbal messages to Board Members will not be allowed."

You can read the entire four-page memo, penned by clerk of the board Angela Calvillo with consultation from Santa Clara County Counsel Miguel Marquez, right here: Mayoral process.doc

And the imposition of a virtual cone of silence is just one of several odd elements.

Take the very real imposition of a cone of silence.

Once nominated as a mayoral contender, any board member must get up and get thee to a nunnery. Just kidding -- but you must get thee to another room where you can watch the proceedings on closed-circuit television and not interfere with them.

"Sequestered nominees" can return to board chambers to "testify before the Board during public comment," but then they have to leave forthwith and be sequestered once again.

What's more, any board member who is nominated to potentially be mayor is not only forbidden from voting for him or herself -- he or she can't vote at all, for anyone. The theory here is an extension of the same rationale for not allowing supes to vote for themselves.

Since the mayor earns three times what a supervisor does, for a supe to nominate himself or cast a vote for himself is akin to using his or her office for personal enrichment. (Since board president does not pay extra, that's why you are allowed to nominate/vote for yourself). Along those lines, a supe who has been nominated for mayor is not allowed to influence the contest in any way, if he or she could theoretically benefit in the end. So no voting -- for anyone.  

So, if David Chiu, Ross Mirkarimi, and David Campos are all nominated as potential mayoral successors, none of them is going to end up voting in the final go-round -- meaning, somehow, eight or nine supervisors will have to come up with six votes for one candidate.

Since that's not going to happen, you can bet that no one is going to ascend from the board today into the vaunted slot of mayor-to-be. This ostensibly benefits Board President David Chiu -- if the supes can't name an interim mayor, he'll become acting mayor as soon as Gavin Newsom skips town. He'll hold on to that position until San Francisco's elected mayor takes office in January of 2011 unless: A. He's unseated as Board President; B. The next board settles upon an interim mayor; C. Voldemort assembles all of the Deathly Hallows and leads the attack on City Hall.

In any event, the process begins at today's Board of Supervisors meeting. Our sources say it'll be "entertaining."

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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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