Thursday, October 1, 2015

UPDATE: BOMA SF-PAC Slate Card for the November 3, 2015 San Francisco Municipal Election

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Slate Card

The BOMA SF-PAC is looking forward to the November 3, 2015 election and our members have already endorsed candidates for elected office and taken positions on the following propositions in San Francisco (click here to learn more about the various measures):

SUPPORT --- Proposition A - Affordable Housing Bond

The need for additional housing, especially “affordable” housing is not in dispute. This measure will wisely divide up the funds into several different pots which will then fund the needs of the various housing-challenged populations. It is in our interest as owners and managers of commercial real estate to support bonds that will provide more housing for the employees of our tenant companies while not raising property taxes.

NO POSITION ---Proposition B - Paid Parental Leave for City Employees

This measure will increase the paid parental leave for city employees from 12 to 16 weeks without losing less than 40 hours of accrued sick time. BOMA SF PAC did not take a position on its merits.

SUPPORT --- Proposition C - Expenditure Lobbyists

BOMA SF PAC supported this measure because it will also require non-profits and unions to report the expenditures they incur for political activity at City Hall.

SUPPORT --- Proposition D - Mission Rock            

BOMA SF PAC supports increasing the heights of certain buildings in this impressive development project behind the AT & T ballpark on what is now mostly surface parking lots. The project will provide jobs and increase the city’s tax base which are always key considerations for BOMA’s endorsement of singular projects.

OPPOSE --- Proposition E - Requirements for Public Meetings

This proposal is deeply flawed while its intentions are good. It would require the Board of Supervisors and all City Commissions to broadcast meetings live on the internet, would allow members of the public to submit virtual public comments, and would allow members of the public to request that certain agenda items be discussed at a certain time. Having all city commissions and boards be required to be televised and accessible to the public via a live internet streaming sounds good but could wreak havoc with the scheduled meetings’ agendas and potentially disadvantage people who are physically attending those same meetings. It could also introduce many responses from viewers who do not live in the City, further delaying the end of these commission or board meetings.

OPPOSE --- Proposition F - Short-Term Residential Rentals 
This measure is a harsher version of the ordinance recently passed by the Board of Supervisor regulating short-term rentals from websites such as AirBNB. Current law allows unlimited rentals, when properly registered with the City, and payment of the hotel tax, of rooms with the owner present and it allows whole residences to be rented out for up to 120 Days. Proposition F reduces that to 75 days for any type of short-term rental and requires public notice to neighbors of the intent to rent short term to tourists and allows interested parties to sue owners who do place their units on the short term rental market. Equally troubling is the fact that passing this proposition would not allow for any changes needed to reflect current or future economic conditions without going back to the voters for approval, an extremely cumbersome way to administer the city’s laws.

OPPOSE --- Proposition G - Disclosures Regarding Renewable Energy

Prop G supported by PG & E’s utility workers’ union, and Prop H, placed on the ballot by the SF Board of Supervisors’, came to a compromise on how the city defines “clean power” and what environmental impacts the city’s power has had and must disclose to customers of Hetch Hetchy power. The original supporters of G are now supporting Prop H, opposing their own measure, thus allowing the BOMA-SF-PAC to also oppose G and support the compromise Prop H.

SUPPORT --- Proposition H - Defining Clean, Green, and Renewable Energy

OPPOSE --- Proposition I - Suspension of Market-Rate Development in the Mission District

This citizen initiative would impose an 18th month moratorium on any housing project containing five or more units in the Mission District. Only so-called “affordable housing” would be allowed. This moratorium could also be extended an additional 12 months. The BOMA SF PAC completely disagrees with the premise that not building any market rate housing is going to slow down evictions, or build more affordable housing for the residents of the Mission. Rather, fees from market-rate developers helps fund the construction of affordable units.

OPPOSE --- Proposition J - Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund

This proposition would create a fund to assist so-called “legacy businesses” which have been in operation for at least 20 years and have been so certified by the City. It would allow the city to grant up to $500 per full time employee per year and up to $4.50 per square foot to landlords who agree to lease or extend a lease for a minimum of 10 years. The BOMA SF PAC did not see the usefulness of using taxpayers funds to help keep so-called Legacy businesses in business, if they were not making it on their own. Further, market conditions could actually work to the disadvantage of the small business tenant if market rate rents dipped due to harder economic times, but the tenant was saddled with an above market rental rate due to the long term lease.
SUPPORT --- Proposition K - Surplus Public Lands

This proposition was amended to make it more reasonable, allowing for any city property that was sold to be used for affordable housing unless the Board of Supervisors voted another purpose. The BOMA SF PAC Board agreed that if the Board of Supervisors was allowed to repurpose the funds if needed, then it was a measure that could be supported.


The candidate endorsements are:

Supervisor Christensen was appointed in January 2015 replacing David Chiu, who had been elected to the CA Assembly. She is a small business person who has been deeply involved in civic improvement projects within District 3 for many years and understands the fiscal impacts of legislative mandates on the private sector. Her opponent, former Supervisor Aaron Peskin, is a known opponent of development, and the business community in general. 

The Mayor has been a steadfast supporter of economic growth in the City, and has included BOMA when policies are developed that may impact our industry.

Vicki Hennessy served a 30 year career within the SF Sheriff’s Department before retiring and being appointed the head of the Dept. of Emergency Management. When the current Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was suspended for domestic violence charges, Hennessy took over the Department as interim Sheriff. She is the true professional for this position and for that reason was supported by BOMA.

Re-Elect Dennis Herrera for San Francisco City Attorney

There is no opposition to Mr. Herrera. Nevertheless, Mr. Herrera has done an ostensibly good job as City Attorney so our PAC saw no reason not to support his re-election. 

There is no opposition to Mr. Gascon. Nevertheless, the BOMA SF PAC believed Mr. Gascon has conducted himself and his office in a professional manner and has taken a higher level of interest in prosecuting quality of life crimes.

There is no opposition to Mr. Cisneros. Nevertheless, Mr. Cisneros has also been very receptive to working with BOMA on the implementation of the city’s new gross receipts tax.

Mr. Randolph was recently appointed to the SF Community College board by Mayor Ed Lee to replace Natalie Berg, who retired for health reasons. Mr. Randolph is a bright, young, and moderate Democrat who faces opposition from two so-called Progressive candidates. Mr. Randolph’s background of accomplishments including service with GSA and in Mayor Newsom’s administration as well as his dedication to improving this vital educational institution, qualified him in the eyes of the BOMA SF PAC for our endorsement for a full term to this office.

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