BOMA San Francisco’s leaders welcomed the San Francisco Board of Supervisors President, David Chiu, to a special luncheon held in the Bechtel Dining Room at the City Club, for the purpose of establishing a dialogue between Supervisor Chiu and the city’s commercial real estate industry. Chiu, a Harvard graduate, managed a high tech company before winning the District 3 Supervisor seat in November 2008.
Supervisor Chiu shared his thoughts and observations on local governance. He identified several things he felt could be done to make government work better and provide for a sustainable economic future, including:
- Streamline onerous overregulation of local business
- Examine where we might streamline and perhaps consolidate City departments
- Address how the City contracts for services, with the aim of local sourcing wherever possible
’s growing pension liability and address the disparity between public and private sector wage and benefit packages San Francisco
- Institute a 2-year budget cycle, complimented with a 5-year financial forecast
- Reform our tax system in a way that does not penalize job creation and growth
Supervisor Chiu said it was a difficult and painful process this year to close an almost $500 million deficit to balance the budget and that he didn’t see how the City could cut services any further. He also was very concerned that further state funding reductions will have significant impacts on this fiscal year. (July 2009 – June 2010)
Chiu elaborated on his desire to reform the city’s tax structure to eliminate the payroll tax, as he considered it totally regressive and a job killer. He also said he was familiar with
Chiu defended the city’s formula retail (chain store) bans and restrictions, stating that constituents in his district, in particular, were probably one of the most concerned about losing their local character through over commercialization by national chains. One BOMA member countered: what is preferable - a chain store or a vacant store space? Another member stated that
Chiu also defended the upcoming November ballot measure that calls for lifting the cap on two aides for each Supervisor. He said that staffing needs for Supervisors should be determined in the budgeting process, and not by City Charter.
BOMA members pointed out to the Board President that the City should speed up its reassessment process as millions of dollars are waiting to be paid based on recent commercial property sales. Members gave examples and opined that
BOMA San Francisco’s leadership applauded Supervisor Chiu’s interest in tackling these important issues. They also shared information on the state of local commerce and the employment picture as seen through their eyes, and reported what BOMA members have experienced partnering with and trying to retain their small-business tenants.