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Friday, January 27, 2012

Naomi Kelly: SF Weekly's Toilet Paper Warrior

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 2:25 PM

click to enlarge When your $833K runs out...
  • When your $833K runs out...

In a city where, even late last year, perhaps 40 percent of voters still thought Gavin Newsom was mayor, it may be hard to get people worked up about the position of city administrator. But bear with us -- and you'll be rewarded with references to the lavatory.

In any event, Ed Lee is now mayor -- after formerly serving as city administrator. A woman named Amy Brown was appointed to the post in his stead, but she was last year named the city manager of Campbell. The woman who has been serving in her stead, Naomi Kelly, is well on her way to assuming the full-time job.

What does city administrator do? Depending on whom you ask, it's a vital behind-the-scenes job or a somewhat vestigial post created when Willie Brown pushed through a strong mayoral system in 1996, neutering the position of "Chief Administrative Officer." But that's neither her nor there. Kelly has earned The Snitch's good favor by tirelessly crunching the numbers and figuring out how much money this city flushes down the toilet -- literally.

Last year, in an effort to create some sort of benchmark (BM, yes) related to San Francisco spending, we decided to glean how much this city spends on toilet paper. This was not easy -- different departments make their purchases through different avenues and prefer different varieties of toilet paper.

Yet Kelly, who seemed legitimately intrigued by figuring how much the city spends on toilet paper, took our query to heart. She scoured the city's janitorial contracts and segregated all the toilet paper purchases. She even denoted what manner of TP was being obtained (one-ply, two-ply, and jumbo). You can read the resulting document here. By the way, the number you're wondering about is $833,113.

Intellectual curiosity and a sense of humor are attractive qualities for any job-holder. When it comes to filling this position, the city is flush with talent.

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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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