Newsom stabs Peskin in the back,
flip-flops support for MUNI reform proposal
Mayor Gavin Newsom
July 26, 2007, 9:02 a.m
Mayor Gavin Newsom yesterday recalled his support for a November
ballot measure aimed at reforming Muni. The ballot charter amendment,
by Supervisors Tuesday, would supercede a controversial ballot
initiative that seeks to build downtown parking structures.
In a statement released yesterday at 6:22 p.m., Newsom claims
legislation author, Board President Aaron Peskin, introduced a
different version of the Muni reform legislation than what was
agreed to by Newsom and union leaders Monday.
Newsom's statement reads as follows:
I worked in good faith with Supervisor Aaron Peskin, Nat
Ford, and the unions to draft a charter amendment that included
important reforms to improve Muni. On Monday, I announced my support
for this charter amendment.
Yesterday, Supervisor Peskin introduced a different version than
the one I had supported. He added a provision about parking that
I disagree with -- one that has nothing to do with the Muni reform
The parking provision was added to the charter amendment to coincide
with a parking measure that is on the ballot at the same time.
It confuses two separate issues.
Supervisor Peskin deserves credit for showing leadership and
bringing together disparate parties to craft this charter amendment.
But Muni reform is too important to be drawn into a separate political
battle. I will actively support the charter amendment only if
the parking provision is removed.
But, according to Peskin, Newsom has acted in bad faith and stabbed
him in the back.
Reached by phone, Peskin released the following statement to
Fog City Journal this morning:
"The Mayor was informed through his staff for over two weeks
that this provision would be added. They asked to see the provision
two weeks ago. Stuart Sunshine had it. I included it in the draft
that was presented to the mayor. All of the people who were at
the bargaining table were all told that the provision would be
"The mayor said to me on Monday afternoon around 1:30 (p.m.)
or so, in a meeting that was attended by Phil Ginsburg that he,
for the purposes of the press conference, didn't want that to
be included, but it was understood that the Board would add it
back the next day.
"It turns out the mayor was not negotiating in good faith,
that his word is no good, and that he stabbed me in the back."
Board President Aaron Peskin
The provision in contention reads as follows:
"The City may not require or permit off-street
parking spaces for any privately-owned structure or use in excess
of the number that City law would have allowed for the structure
or use on July 1, 2007 unless the additional spaces are approved
by a four-fifths vote of the Board of Supervisors. The Board of
Supervisors may reduce the maximum parking required or permitted
by this section."