cityhall3.jpgA member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday plans to call into question the value of the current format of Mayor Ed Lee’s monthly voter-mandated appearances in front of the board.

Supervisor David Campos submitted the question in advance of Lee’s visit to the supervisors chambers on Tuesday, writing that the monthly exchange between the board and mayor “is not as useful as it could be” and asked if he would support restructuring the format.

Campos wrote, “I would appreciate the opportunity to engage with you about important policy issues facing my district and the city, but I do not believe that the current structure of Question Time allows for the kind of meaningful dialogue some of us would like to see.”

The monthly visits to the board by the mayor are required by the city’s voters, nearly 60 percent of whom approved them as Proposition C in November 2010.

The call for the public meetings came during the tenure of then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, who had a more contentious relationship with the board than Lee.

The rules of the visits, developed after Newsom was elected lieutenant governor and had been replaced by Lee, call for five-minute answers to questions provided by supervisors a week in advance, with no opportunity for follow-up questions.

Lee, who reads his answers from a script, has said that he likes the current format of the visits but might be open to some tweaks to it.

Criticism of the appearances increased after last month, when only one supervisor submitted a question to the mayor–Carmen Chu, who asked what the city was doing to promote economic growth on Taraval Street in her district.

Supervisor John Avalos earlier this month asked for questions from the public on Facebook, saying he was “a bit underwhelmed” with the current format of the visits.

However, Avalos posted on Twitter on Friday that he missed the deadline to submit a question after being “totally overwhelmed by news cameras” regarding last week’s hearing on whether to reinstate Ross Mirkarimi as sheriff.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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