Thursday, March 26, 2009

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi Meets with BOMA San Francisco PAC Members

Pictured left to right: Kathy Mattes, Treasurer BOMA SF PAC; Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi; and Nancy Gille, Chair, BOMA SF PAC

Pictured left to right: Ken Cleaveland, Director of Government and Public Affairs, BOMA San Francisco; Supevisor Ross Mirkarimi, Nancy Gille, Chair, BOMA SF PAC; Todd Robinette, Jones Lang LaSalle; and Kathy Mattes, Vice-Chair BOMA SF PAC

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi (District 5) met with BOMA San Francisco's PAC today to discuss his view of the City budget deficit, set-aside reform, the issues he is working on, and other topics. The following is a summary of the dialogue:

On The Budget:
As vice-chair of the Budget & Finance Committee, Supervisor Mirkarimi mentioned that seeking some revenue enhancement was necessary, although any new revenue measures would have to be coupled with structural reform of the budget process. The Supervisor stated that there is common ground among all the stakeholders involved in placing a combination of tax increases and budget reform measures on the ballot.
Even though all affected parties might agree about what goes on the ballot, it doesn't mean that any of the proposed revenue enhancement measures will be able to pass the 2/3rds vote requirement. That is a very high bar according to the Supervisor. Indeed, regardless of what is placed in front of the San Francisco electorate, Supervisor Mirkarimi stated that "all measures are DOA unless...all parties are on board".
Lastly, the Supervisor is for a two-year budget, increasing reserves and general procedural reforms.

On the Special Election:
Supervisor Mirkarimi stated that there will, most likely, be no special election prior to November.

On Set-Aside Reform:
Supervisor Mirkarimi is for set-aside reform. Indeed, he has introduced (with Supervisors David Chiu, and Sean Elsbernd) a City Charter amendment to change set-aside spending. The Supervisor feels that now is a good time politically to introduce the Charter amendment as set-asides compound the ability of the City to balance its budget. If you recall, the City has a perfect record of doing just that.

In the Supervisor's opinion, the Charter amendment will, most likely, not be on the November Ballot.
On the Mayor's Office:
Surprisingly, the Mayor is not supportive of set-aside reform. The Supervisor feels that the Mayor needs to take the lead on this: there is too much infighting among different grassroots organizations and a top-down approach to this issue would provide the necessary muscle his legislation needs to move forward.

On Supervisor Chiu's 'Lights Out' Ordinance:
Although the Supervisor has not had a chance to review Supervisor David Chiu's Office Building After-Hours Lighting Ordinance, BOMA PAC members wasted no time in letting him know how they feel about the proposal: they are not exactly happy about it. BOMA members ARE supportive of saving energy and mentioned that San Francisco buildings are leading the nation in sustainable building practices, which include energy conservation.

On His Own Efforts in City Hall:
Supervisor Mirkarimi is continuing to advocate tirelessly for his District and the City. Here are two of the issues (among many) he is working on currently:
  • Legitimizing secondary units, or working on bringing residents up to code. At present the Supervisor is looking for pilots for secondary units in the City that might lead to City-wide code amendments, and
  • Crime reduction in the Western Addition (e.g., foot patrols in disadvantaged communities). In fact, he mentioned that the City has as 11-12% resolve rate when it comes to crime cases!

BOMA San Francisco thanks Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi for this time and we look forward to working with him in the future.

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