San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said today that he is not interested in changing the scripted and sometimes stilted structure of his voter-mandated monthly visits to the Board of Supervisors.
Supervisor David Campos had questioned the value of the appearances, required under a measure passed by San Francisco voters in November 2010, saying the format of the exchange is “not as useful as it could be.”
The rules of the visits, agreed upon by the board and mayor, call for five-minute answers to questions submitted a week in advance, with no opportunity for follow-up questions.
Lee, who reads his answers from a script, said he does find the visits useful and does not wish to change the format to allow for more spontaneity.
“A ‘gotcha’ game between myself and members of the board would do little to help make a substantive exchange that voters deserve,” Lee said. “We share an obligation not to entertain, but to do what is in the best interests of our constituents.”
Campos said afterward that he is still interested in finding a way to tweak the format “to make it more interactive.”
He said he thinks others on the board share that sentiment, adding that some supervisors “have chosen not to submit questions because they don’t see the value in it.”
Last month, only one supervisor submitted a question–Carmen Chu, who asked what the city was doing to promote economic growth on Taraval Street in her district.
The call for the mayoral visits came during the tenure of then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, who had a more contentious relationship with the board than Lee has had so far.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News