Move to slice spokespeople, Mayor’s $100k club aborted but supes promise to revisit
Let’s play civic quiz. Anyone know what a “greening director” does? Ok. Anyone know what a “climate control director” might do? Nobody’s entirely sure, especially in a city that already has a Department of the Environment, with a $200k-plus annual earner at its helm and a staff of 65 at its disposal.
Some three weeks ago, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced substantial cuts to health and human services programs; on Wednesday, progressive supervisors announced $43.7 million in restorations (or reversals of those cuts) — and they also announced they want to make sure Newsom can’t use next February’s midyear budget reductions to cut them right back (almost half of the cuts added back last year were then sliced six months later midyear. Follow us?).
all-star cast of high-wage earners on notice: putting in limbo the money that pays for the greening director, climate control director, Mayor’s education director, director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the entire Community Justice Center, half of the city’s spokespeople (nearly all of whom make over $100,000 a year), and $2 million of the 311 Call Center.In a move that drew applause from a dedicated crowd of hangers-on at 9 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi proposed to put the Mayor’s
The move — a motion at the Budget and Finance Committee’s marathon session, coming at 9:15 p.m. after hours of delay while the restoration deal was hammered out — failed to gain any traction for now (aside from an emotional Supervisor Chris Daly, who implored impassive Budget committee members to second the motion without success), but Mirkarimi promised a revisit.
“We need to have a contingency in place,” said Mirkarimi, who noted that the state’s own budget crisis could knock another $18 million from the city’s coffers — or almost half of what the Budget committee stayed up late, missed their favorite primetime shows (and lunch and dinner) for almost two weeks to restore in the first place. “We need to make sure our gains are protected.”
Putting the funds on reserve would allow the Board to cut those positions before cutting mental health services, AIDS treatment, or other city-funded services for the city’s brokeasses. A great idea if you’re a brokeass; less so if you’re Wade Crowfoot or one of those other high-horses.
Look for these cuts to receive some attention at some time over the next two weeks, when the final budget will appear before the Board.