Mayoral appearances are required once a month at the board meetings after city voters passed Proposition C in last November’s election.
Lee appeared at today’s meeting for a closed-door meeting on a possible pension reform proposal, but the voter-mandated appearances will be at open meetings to “engage in formal policy discussions,” as specified by the ballot measure.
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 a meeting last month.
Now that the board passed the resolution today, Lee can make his first appearance at the supervisors’ meeting on April 12 if he has an opening in his schedule, Chiu’s chief legislative aide Judson True 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.
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.
Supervisor John Avalos said he would prefer more spontaneity in the process but said he would vote for it since “we can make this a useful tool to focus the mayor’s attention” on issues important to the board.
While Lee has collaborated with board members on several initiatives since taking office in January, his predecessor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, had an often-contentious relationship with the previous board.
The issue of mayoral appearances at Board of Supervisors meetings had twice previously come up before San Francisco voters during Newsom’s tenure before it was approved in November by nearly 60 percent of 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