Even to his supporters, Supervisor Chris Daly is not perfect, but if he were a baseball player, his 1-for-2 average Tuesday would be Hall of Fame worthy.
The termed-out supe’s effort to set aside a large pot of money for affordable housing failed, but voters will have their second chance to force San Francisco’s mayor to show up and face the music at Board meetings — modeled somewhat on the British prime minister’s Question Time in front of Parliament.
Both of Daly’s measures were “unfinished business” for the 10-year Tenderloin supervisor, who is termed out in January. The ballot measures were intended for the November ballot.
It will be question time’s second go-round on the ballot: a similar measure failed at the ballot in 2007 after Mayor Gavin Newsom led a successful fundraising and campaign effort to defeat it.
The setback on affordable housing will sting for Daly, as he has made his name and set much of his legislative agenda on that issue (and, indeed, his record as a housing advocate is what elected him to the Board in 2000).
“We need to build what we know what to do, and that’s decent affordable housing for San Franciscans,” Daly said. “[The measure] would make it easier for San Franciscans to have a go at living in the city, and have it be less of a struggle.”
Fiscal concerns felled that effort, as two of Daly’s progressive board colleagues — Budget and Finance Committee chairman and former Daly aide John Avalos and Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi — both blanched at the notion of more set-asides, i.e. pots of money which city leaders are forced to spend on specific efforts regardless of the overall financial picture.
“Set-asides” is a dirty word at City Hall, especially in a bad budget year.
“They restrict future mayors’ abilities to budget and to run the city effectively,” said Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, one of seven supervisors to oppose the affordable housing measure. Elsbernd and mayoral allies Michela Alioto-Pier, Carmen Chu and Bevan Dufty joined swing vote Sophie Maxwell in opposing both of Daly’s measures.
See you at the ballot.