Daly pens letter to commissioners
following Newsom's call for mass resignations
Supervisor Chris Daly
From the Office of Supervisor Chris Daly
September11, 2007, 3:06 p.m.
Thank you for your service to the people of San Francisco. I
believe what makes our City government exceptional is our system
of commissions where everyday San Franciscans have a direct voice
and regular input in the direction and management of civic affairs
and policy. I also believe that all City leaders, whether elected
or appointed, work for and are accountable to the people of San
Francisco, not to any one individual.
Our government system, with its numerous commissions, provides
for significant checks and balances and decentralization of decision-making.
It is designed to benefit San Franciscans' everyday lives. However,
our system depends on you, citizen commissioners from the diverse
communities of our City, to act in close consultation with and
on behalf of your fellow San Franciscans.
Our form of government is designed to give everyday people more
say in the decisions impacting them. However, this system can
be taken advantage of by City leaders who do not act in good faith.
When Planning Commissioner Dennis Antenore was removed after making
a vote based on public input but against the wishes of his appointing
authority's political donors, we clearly saw the sensitivity of
our political system. Many San Franciscans responded with outrage.
Yesterday, the Mayor of San Francisco asked for your resignation
effective January 7, 2008. This move is eerily reminiscent of
the worst days for our Commissions under the last administration.
While I realize that many of you may be removed by your appointing
authority, I would strongly encourage you to consider first your
calling to service and your responsibility to the people of your
City. Your resignation should only be forced for cause or if the
call is coming from the people of our City. Otherwise, I would
encourage you to continue your work of, by, and for the people
of San Francisco. In these times, there is a need for greater
resolve, independence, and accountability to the people we serve.
Further, our Charter bestows on you significant responsibility
in the process of hiring and firing your respective department
head. Given the call for resignation of all 53 department heads,
the continuity of your service may be more important now than
I hope to be able to continue our work together on behalf of
the people of San Francisco.