As you might recall, SF still has a budget deficit, yet is doling out between $2,000 and $4,000 in raises to city officials. Mayoral candidates D3 Supe David Chiu and former fellow Supe Michela Alioto-Pier are urging officials not to take their raises — and while at least two more are now following suit, it’s not happening without a bit of mud slinging.
As the Chron reports, Supervisor John Avalos is also forgoing the raise. But he isn’t happy about passing up that money, saying that “I’m scraping by,” and that his 1998 Honda Civic is falling apart. Supes, they’re just like us! According to CBS5, Avalos will return the money by giving back furlough days.
The junker-driving Supe’s calling Alioto-Pier’s attempt at guilt-tripping fellow city officials “cheap tricks” and “pure, base pandering to the lowest common denominator of the electorate.”
“Last year it was a $500 million budget deficit,” Avalos told the Chron “and I don’t believe she took a pay cut. I did.”
For her part, Alioto-Pier acknowledges that she raked five pay raises totaling $6,549 between July 2005 and July 2010, but maintains to the Chron that “this is a different year from past years…This is not an appropriate time for anybody to be getting a raise.”
Avalos isn’t the only mayoral hopeful claiming poverty to the Chron — in an unrelated story on why he doesn’t support a ban on shark fin soup, Mayor Lee, who just can’t shake those running for mayor rumors, says that while he does eat the controversial dish, he doesn’t do so regularly because “I can’t afford it.”
According to CBS5, Lee took a $7000 salary cut when he left his previous job to became mayor of SF. He will also be returning his raise, which is sure to keep the Lee for Mayor rumor mill going.
Lee was, says CBS5, “scheduled to earn $252,000 and the supervisors about $98,000 in the next fiscal year.”