In news met with derision by some, last week Mayor Lee announced that San Francisco residents seeking financial advice will be able to call a hotline hosted by city officials from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and tomorrow by dialing 211.

@sfappeal: SF To Offer Free Financial Advice Hotline For Two Days In September″ Ahaha! The irony!Wed Sep 21 17:41:39 via Twitter for iPhone

The line will be staffed by certified financial planners and members of the city’s Office of Financial Empowerment’s Financial Education Network, according to the mayor’s office, but callers might get a surprise celebrity guest on the phone: the mayor himself.

According to a release sent by SF’s Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector, Mayor Ed Lee and SF Treasurer José Cisneros will join certified financial planners and members of the city’s Office of Financial Empowerment’s Financial Education Network in answering your money questions at 5:30 tonight.

The volunteers will also provide referrals to free or low-cost counseling services from a network of nonprofit agencies that speak a variety of languages.

The project was modeled on a similar event hosted by New York City that provided free advice to about 8,700 callers over a four-day period in 2008.

“With just a simple phone call to 211, San Franciscans can get critical information and referrals to dozens of organizations that will help them make sound financial decisions and avoid costly mistakes,” the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office said in their release.

All calls, they say, are are confidential, so you can feel free to pour your heart out, as what you say to Ed Lee (or the other volunteers) will, they say, stay with Ed Lee.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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