Committee recommends stripping mayor of city fee waiver authority
Martha Cohen, senior staffer to former Mayor Willie Brown,
cites bureaucratic bungling as cause for permit issuance to event
organizer despite non-payment of previous year fees.
By Pat Murphy
November 22, 2005
The Mayor's Office will be stripped of its power to waive city
service fees for San Francisco events under legislation unanimously
recommended yesterday by the Government Audit and Oversight Committee.
In addition, event organizers more than 90 days late in paying
city fees will be ineligible for future event permits, according
to the proposed ordinance authored by San Francisco Board of Supervisors
President Aaron Peskin.
Committee Chair Aaron Peskin
Committee Members Sean Elsbernd and Chris Daly joined Peskin
in recommending the measure to the full Board of Supervisors.
Committee Member Sean Elsbernd
Committee Member Chris Daly
Peskin drafted the ordinance following revelation last week that
organizers for the Grand Prix 2005 cyclist race were granted a
permit for that event despite not paying city fees for Grand Prix
Daly and Peskin said granting the 2005 permit thereby violated
Organizers contend they did not pay the initial invoice because
it was based on full city service costs, instead of reduced fees
then being considered by the Mayor's Office. The city sent an
invoice reflecting fee waiver to organizers only this month.
The Mayor's Office has sent a demand for payment letter to organizers,
legally enabling the city to seek full service costs rather than
reduced costs if the 2004 bill is not paid in ten days.
"Bureaucratic bungling" allowed both the 2005 permit
to be issued, and payment collection not enforced, according to
Noelle Simmons of the City Controller's Office and Martha Cohen
who served as a senior staff member to former Mayor Willie Brown.