Why wait for midyear reductions? Supervisor introduces ordinance to help slice police, fire budgets.
Chris Daly is perfectly capable of doing Mayor Gavin Newsom’s job: the supervisor was mayor for a (busy!) day not too long ago, after all. So, with Newsom spending most of his time figuring out how to go about his midyear cuts — or, how much money each city department must trim from its budget this current fiscal year, or, which group of city workers will lose their jobs sooner, rather than later — it was perhaps only Daly being helpful on Tuesday when he introduced legislation that would trim a total of $27.5 million from the police and fire departments — which includes the salaries for about 100 police officers and 50 firefighters.
The breakdown is $20.7 million for police, and $6.8 million for fire. That’s well below the reduction goal of 20 percent given to all city departments; still, as Daly pointed out, it’s a start — even if it’s a “pretty radical [political move], even for [me],” Daly said.
How much support these measures are likely to have with the rest of the Board — at least eight votes are needed to override a mayoral veto, remember — remains to be seen, especially when you consider the likelihood that any supervisor leaning towards support of this would endure “public safety workers calling for a recall,” as Daly pointed out.
This won’t be heard in committee until after the New Year, by which time Newsom will issue his own reduction target, which would make Daly’s ordinance perhaps moot.
It was one of four bits of legislation introduced Tuesday that take aim, in one way or another, at city workers. There was also:
*A charter amendment introducing a zero tolerance policy for firefighters to be under the influence of alcohol while on duty (also introduced by Daly);
*A charter amendment extending firefighters’ workweeks from 48.7 hours to 52 hours, introduced by Supervisor John Avalos (who also introduced, and then withdrew, an identical measure last year);
*A charter amendment aimed at curbing “out-of-control” spending on city employee health and retirement benefits (and, one could assume, also aimed at SEIU 1021) introduced by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd.
If approved by the Rules Committee and by the full Board, voters could see the above charter amendments on their June ballots.