Onlookers say popularity drove foot patrol veto
Newsom suffers first veto defeat
Critical to the overturning of Mayor Newsom's veto of mandatory
foot patrols legislation, sponsored by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
(right), Supervisors (re-elect) Bevan Dufty and Sophie Maxwell
maintained their strong support for the popular legislation, and
voted accordingly against the veto.
By Emmert Berg, Bay City News Service
November 14, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Supporters and even an opponent
of citywide police foot patrols said today that Mayor Gavin Newsom
and his staff were slow to realize the broad public appeal of
seeing more cops on San Francisco sidewalks.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 today to override
a veto by Newsom of the foot patrol plan, a one-year experiment
at all 10 police stations starting early next year.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin's vote was the biggest surprise. Peskin
had originally voted against the legislation when the amended
proposal was first
approved on October 17, but today joined supervisors in opposing
the veto and supporting the legislation.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin
It was Newsom's first veto to be overturned. Even an opponent
of the plan conceded its popularity.
"There are parts of this city clamoring for foot patrols,"
said Supervisor Sean Elsbernd.
"The good thing is, finally the (police) chief and the mayor
are engaged on this issue."
Elsbernd is seen as an ally of the mayor who consistently
voted against the plan as a usurpation of what he said was
the chief's role in determining tactics. Elsbernd and Michela
Alioto-Pier were the only supervisors to oppose the finalized
foot patrol plan first proposed by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.
Supervisor Dufty, who was seen as a
possible switch-vote going into today's session, eloquently
his ardent support for foot patrols and thanked Supervisor
Mirkarimi for shepherding the legislation.
"This city is hungry for strong public safety leadership,"
Supervisor Bevan Dufty said
"This board is struggling, trying to creatively address
problems. We have to step forward because of a leadership gap.
It is not a complete answer but it is the best we can do now,"
Supervisor Bevan Dufty
Supervisor Sophie Maxwell represents a district that is home
to a high percentage of the city's gun violence.
Maxwell said that people she has spoken to from her district,
which includes Bayview Hunters Point, demanded to know what was
being done about gun violence.
"I have no choice. I have to do this," said Maxwell,
who supported the legislation.
Supervisor Sophie Maxwell (right)
Peter Ragone, spokesman for the mayor, said the plan constituted
"bad public policy" and that the city had been increasing
foot patrols on its own for two-and-a-half years.
"This has had a lot of political overtones, and its sponsor
is probably running for mayor," Ragone said.
Mayor's Office of Communications Director Peter Ragone
The remark had the sponsor, Mirkarimi, retorting that the Newsom
administration were "ostriches" with their heads in
"I came to them months ago with this legislation,"
"They're only saying such things because they are desperate
to triage their own negligence. They were hoisted by their own
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi
Luke Thomas contributed to this report.
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