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McGoldrick hits back,
calls recall effort an abuse of process

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Tamara Barak

May 30, 2007

San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick this afternoon called the campaign to recall him the mean-spirited effort of "a few hotheads."

The supervisor, who represents the Richmond District, said he will be termed out of office in a year and is already thinking of going back to his teaching career and preparing for impending grandparenthood.

But he said he fears that recall efforts like the one he faces will become a trend to intimidate elected representatives.

"They're wasting taxpayer money because of some disagreement on the issues. I hope this doesn't become an intimidation tool that could then be swung at the heads of any elected official. I think it's a terrible abuse of the process and it would make (other politicians) afraid to take on the tough issues," he said.

Richmond District merchants and residents demanding the recall formally kicked off their campaign today, marching through the neighborhood to collect needed signatures.

The group, Richmond Deserves Better, claims McGoldrick, who has represented the neighborhood since 2000, is quick to increase taxes, refuses to meet with his constituents, and doesn't care about the concerns of small business owners.

Recall supporters also say McGoldrick's legislation for Saturday road closures in Golden Gate Park went against the will of voters in the Richmond District. They also accuse the supervisor of forcing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan onto the neighborhood without consulting Geary Street merchants who would be affected by the construction.

"Jake McGoldrick has not been responsive to our needs," said Paul Kozakiewicz, a spokesman for the recall effort.

Kozakiewicz, who publishes the newspaper The Richmond Review, said he once supported McGoldrick before coming to question the twice-elected supervisor's competence and ethics. Kozakiewicz's recent editorials criticizing McGoldrick became the catalyst for Michael Samson to begin meeting with the recall group a couple of months ago, Samson said.

Samson, who moved to the Richmond in 1972 and is a member of the Friends of Sutro Park, said the need for a recall becomes apparent by simply looking around the neighborhood.

"All the shuttered businesses, the congestion, the condition of the roads - I'm not blaming Jake McGoldrick for all these problems, but we need a supervisor who will represent strong leadership," to solve the problems, he said.

The group, which needs to collect 4,000 signatures to secure the recall on the November ballot, faces serious opposition.

San Francisco Firefighters, the San Francisco Democratic Central Committee and State Sen. Leland Yee have all spoken out against the recall as unfounded and wasteful.

They have also joined an opposing group, Citizens Against Recall Abuse. The group's campaign manager, Les Hilger, said about a dozen volunteers opposed to the recall canvassed Richmond District streets during Memorial Day weekend.

"Unlike what you're hearing from recall proponents, we're finding a lot of support in the community for Supervisor McGoldrick," Hilger said.

In a written statement, John Hanley, president of the San Francisco Firefighters, called the recall effort "a complete waste of everybody's time and money," since McGoldrick's term expires next year due to term limits.

"Every penny spent on the recall is money stolen from public safety and other essential services," Hanley said.

Yee also spoke out against the recall.

"In my mind, this is an abuse of the recall process, which is meant for serious problems like corruption, not just a disagreement on the issues," he said.

The San Francisco Democratic Central committee Wednesday night unanimously passed a resolution opposing the recall. Those voting against the recall included Yee, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos; State Sen. Carole Migden and Assemblyman Mark Leno, according to the Citizens Against Recall Abuse.

Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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