As our savvier readers surely recall, City Hall coverage over the past, say, eternity has been dominated by budget talk. This will all soon be over (that is, until next year) after the final version of the budget makes its first of two appearances at the full Board of Supervisors this afternoon.
This is how it happens every year: the Mayor introduces a budget June 1, the Budget and Finance Committee spends a month tearing it apart and putting it back together in a way mutually agreeable to Mayor and Board, and then about two-three weeks later, the real deal is signed, sealed and delivered. Cubs win and we all go home.
Typically, little to nothing happens when the budget has its first reading before the full board. There might be a tinkering or two at the last minute the following week, but usually the first reading amounts to little or nothing but a nod and a promise to wait another seven days.
Is this what we can expect today, in this anything but typical year, with some first-year Supervisors representing progressive interests?
The SF Appeal does not know. Endless midnight hours were spent hashing out deals with the police and fire unions. The Board managed to win back $43 million worth of cuts to programs dear to progressives’ hearts. And while there are no guarantees at the present, it would seem that any last minute fucking-with could risk queering the whole deal entirely.
City Hall insiders approached by The Appeal on Monday didn’t think much new, different and/or crazy would happen today — but there are possibilities, and certain ideas touted recently that could resurface.
For Budget and Finance Committee chairman John Avalos, who probably lost the most sleep, missed the most family meals and generally bore the brunt of budget season the most out of anyone, no news will be good news.
“I want to keep things under control,” he told The Appeal on Monday evening, “and preserve the good work of the Budget and Finance Committee, and ensure the city runs smoothly.”