Critics of The City’s district elections have been all over the Chronicle this morning talking about a change to a “hybrid” system. The general idea is that San Franciscans should consider changing the system so that some supervisors represent districts, while others represent the city at large; this would necessitate fewer and larger districts to be drawn.
C.W. Nevius’s opinion piece says this will stop what PoliSci professor Rich DeLeon calls “idealogues, extremists, and whackos” from controlling City Hall once they win a Supervisor’s seat. Nevius backs the hybrid plan because supervisors currently represent too small an area to merit control of so much financial and political power.
Over in the news section, Rachel Gordon sums up the issue by saying that San Francisco is hurting for a system that addresses issues of the city at large, not just the interests of individual neighborhoods, but that a swing toward citywide elections is unpopular with most voters.
Nonetheless, the only actual “critics” of the current system the Chron piece cites is limited to a sole, Haight area constituent named Arthur Evans. Whether the hybrid system will be proposed on the ballot in November is unknown at the moment.
The “buzz” about changing to the system cited in the article seems to refer only to Nevius’s opinion, and perhaps to the Mayor, who is the other high profile critic of the current district system in the news. Newsom gave a lengthy comment to KCBS on the matter.
Addressing the issue, local online writer and sometime political analyst Greg Dewar says, “The only problem with district elections in San Francisco, frankly, is the size of the districts. They’re so small, and often so oddly drawn, they lead to some strange stuff.”