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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Supervisors' 'Clusterf*ck' Mayoral Selection Process: What Comes Next?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge Will the supes fall in line behind a candidate? Or will this continue to be a 'clusterf*ck'?
  • Will the supes fall in line behind a candidate? Or will this continue to be a 'clusterf*ck'?

Those who watched and participated in last night's oft-surreal crafting of the process that will be used to nominate the next mayor will likely suffer from flashbacks. Reporters, supervisors, and the poor, poor clerk of the board will freeze up, half-masticated turkey will fall from their lips, and Thanksgiving guests will be serenaded with the following actual quote from yesterday's proceedings: "You can vote for the amendment to amend or you can go with the motion that amends the motion to amend." 

So, what will all the grueling, procedural back-and-forth -- which Supervisor Chris Daly referred to as a "clusterfuck," even though he had a leading role in the process -- amount to? Our City Hall sources claim either "nothing" -- or a spirited transfer of power of the sort this city hasn't ever seen.

Last night, the supes laid the groundwork for a process in which each board member will nominate up to one successor for Gavin Newsom, and then the supes will then vote "up or down" on those candidates in the order the names were submitted. Nominated supes cannot vote -- but supervisors who are eliminated from contention and

withdraw -- or refuse the nomination at the outset -- can rejoin the process and cast votes. Akin to the National Football League's "Sudden Death" overtime rule, the

first candidate to receive six votes is the next mayor. So, if the supes are voting on 11 candidates and the fourth one through gets six votes -- it's all over.

This process is tentatively scheduled to be tested on Dec. 7 -- though it could be punted further down the road.

Some folks we talked to felt this was all meaningless. Machinations would be worked out ahead of time, a name would be submitted, and the whole process would be over and done in Round One.

Others weren't so sure. The notion of the supes being organized and agreeable enough to pull out a one-round election may be far-fetched. If no candidates get six votes, the supes can roll through, again and again. A nominated supe who is hopelessly out of the mix can withdraw and join the voting process. There may yet be some theater here.

Of course, much depends on if the big day comes about on Dec. 7 or is pushed down the road. If you're of the belief that Board President David Chiu really wants the supes to fail to come to a consensus so he can become acting mayor, you'd expect him to push for a later voting date.

We'll all see whether Dec. 7 is a day that will live in infamy or not.

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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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