edlee_swornin.jpgSan Francisco Mayor Ed Lee could begin appearing at Board of Supervisor meetings as early as next month if the board approves rules governing his appearances that were proposed today.

Mayoral appearances at board meetings are required once a month after San Francisco voters passed Proposition C in the November election.

The proposition, passed by nearly 60 percent of voters, requires the mayor to appear in person at one regularly scheduled meeting supervisors’ meeting each month to “engage in formal policy discussions.”

As required by the proposition, the board formulated rules and guidelines for the mayor’s appearances, and Board President David Chiu introduced the legislation at today’s board meeting.

Lee could appear as soon as the March 8 meeting if the ordinance is approved and the mayor has an opening in his schedule, Chiu said.

According to the legislation, questions must be provided to the mayor by the Wednesday prior to a board meeting, and will be included on the board agenda so the public can be aware of what will be discussed, Chiu said.

The ordinance allows for flexibility – a supermajority of the board can strike any question, and can vote to allow time-sensitive policy questions that were not submitted by the deadline.

Chiu said he didn’t want the appearances “to be about sound bites or gotcha politics,” and said he was “pleased by the increased dialogue” between the board and mayor since Lee took office last month.

Former Mayor and current state Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom had an often contentious relationship with the previous board and the issue of mayoral appearances at board meetings had twice previously come before San Francisco voters.

In 2006, voters approved a resolution requesting that the mayor appear at board meetings, but the following year a proposition to make the appearances mandatory was narrowly rejected.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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