San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said today he is appealing last week’s superior court ruling in favor of Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier’s bid to run for another four-year term.
Judge Peter Busch’s decision Thursday that Alioto-Pier’s term from 2004 to January 2007 did not count as a full term under the city charter allowed the District 2 supervisor to run again this November.
Alioto-Pier was appointed in 2004 by Mayor Gavin Newsom to replace him as District 2 supervisor after he was elected mayor.
She then won an election in November 2004 to serve out the remaining two years of the four-year term, and was re-elected to another four-year term in November 2006.
The city charter limits supervisors to two successive four-year terms.
In his opposition to Alioto-Pier’s re-election bid, Herrera cited a “rounding-up” rule on midterm appointments enacted by voters in 1990, arguing that the rule makes her first term count as a full term for purposes of determining term limits.
“With last week’s ruling, however, supervisors appointed to fill a vacancy will have the entirety of their first term uncounted toward term limits,” Herrera said in a statement today.
He said voters never intended to allow appointed incumbents the opportunity to serve nearly three terms, which Busch’s ruling effectively allows.
“The duty to defend the will of San Francisco voters belongs to the city attorney, and that’s a duty I will fulfill,” Herrera said.
Alioto-Pier blasted Herrera’s decision, saying in a statement that his appeal is squandering taxpayer money.
“After the superior court handed down a decisive decision to allow a run for a second term, I thought he would be apologizing, not appealing,” she said.
For now, Alioto-Pier is still eligible to run this November pending an appeals court decision, Herrera spokesman Matt Dorsey said.
“But we’re going to ask for an expedited briefing schedule,” he added.