farrellmoney.jpgA San Francisco supervisor called during today’s board meeting for a hearing on more than $1.3 billion in non-voter-approved debt.

Supervisor Mark Farrell, who represents District 2 in the northwestern part of the city, called for a hearing on certificates of participation, a financing mechanism the city uses to fund projects by leasing them to various investors.

The certificates create a debt that “masks the true costs of city government,” Farrell said.
He said they are useful in certain projects but are also being used for routine maintenance operations, such as pothole repairs, which “should be pay as you go.”

Farrell called for a hearing to discuss the certificates and the city’s overall debt structure, which he said “burns future taxpayers and future boards” who will have to repay the debt.

Farrell, an investment banker, was elected in November after running on a platform stressing fiscal discipline.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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