San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee returned to the Board of Supervisors chambers Tuesday for his second voter-mandated monthly appearance left one supervisor considering calling for a change to the rules governing the mayoral visits.
The appearances are required after nearly 60 percent of city voters passed Proposition C in November in response to often-contentious relations between the former board and then-Mayor Gavin Newsom.
When Newsom was elected the state’s lieutenant governor in the same election, Lee was chosen as interim mayor and has since had a much more cordial relationship with the board than his predecessor.
According to the rules set up by the board earlier this year, the mayor answers questions submitted by supervisors, alternating monthly between the odd- or even-numbered districts.
At Lee’s first appearance in front of the board last month, he read scripted answers to the questions. He said today that he liked the format.
“The answers may not be as exciting as the ninth inning of a Giants game, but I think the public deserves less torture,” he said.
But Lee’s answer to a question on undocumented immigrant youth left Supervisor David Campos wishing that the rules allowed for a discussion between the board and the mayor.
The question, asked by Supervisor Jane Kim, concerned San Francisco’s sanctuary law and why the city was not following it when it came to undocumented youths who were being reported to federal immigration authorities if they were accused of a felony.
Lee said he has studied “the need to balance … public safety and due process,” and while he has agreed to not report juveniles who have family accounting for them in San Francisco, he is still reporting “unaccompanied minors” who do not have any family members come forward.
Campos said although Lee’s decision is a step in the right direction, “we still won’t have full compliance” with the sanctuary law.
“It’s not up to the executive branch to second guess the legislative branch,” he said.
Campos brought up the issue during the supervisors’ time to introduce new legislation to the board. He said he mentioned it then since the rules do not allow for a back-and-forth between the two sides.
He said afterward, “I think we need to reconsider that issue, whether that format makes sense … the interaction (between the mayor and supervisors) would be beneficial to the public.”
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News