Overheard in Fog City
FCJ Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
Photo by Adam Aufdencamp
September 27, 2007 3:00 p.m. (Updated 10:08
Fortner to resign
San Francisco Housing Authority Executive Director Gregg Fortner
will formally tender his resignation at today's regularly scheduled
commission meeting, according to a reliable source.
Fortner has been under pressure to resign following Mayor Gavin
Newsom's criticism of the agency's performance
Insiders are tipping Commissioner Millard Larkin to replace Fortner
though Commissioner Amos Brown is said to be exerting pressure
to win the nomination.
The Housing Authority Commission, which has has the authority
to appoint and remove the agency head, is scheduled to meet at
4:00 p.m. at 440 Turk Street.
Housing Authority Director Gregg Fortner
Update 10:08 p.m: Fortner tenders his resignation,
effective Jan 4, during a closed door session of the San Francisco
Housing Authority Commission meeting, releases statement:
"Over the last two weeks, City Hall staff has
expressed to me the Mayors feeling that it is time to make
a change in the leadership at the San Francisco Housing Authority.
"Therefore, my last day with the agency will be January
4, 2008 after seven (7) years of service.
"There are many factors contributing to this decision. For
me, the proverbial 'straw' was the editorial cartoon printed in
the San Francisco Chronicle on September 1, 2007. The cartoon
was offensive to me both professionally and personally. Additionally,
the degrading racial imagery contained in this cartoon shows an
incredible insensitivity to the struggles and history of the African-American
people in this country. Although City Hall apparently has little
control over what is presented in the media, recent public behavior
by City Officials contributed to a perception that such political
satire was appropriate and acceptable.
"Over the next three months, I will work diligently to facilitate
a smooth transition to the Citys new direction. During this
time, I wish to express my deepest and most sincere gratitude
to the residents of Public Housing and Section 8, the Housing
Authority Commission, the staffs of Speaker Pelosi and Senators
Feinstein and Boxer, HUD officials in DC and here in San Francisco,
the many business and community partners working with the Housing
Authority, and the numerous public and private entities that have
helped us survive the challenging environment in which we must
operate. Most of all, I wish to thank the outstanding staff of
the San Francisco Housing Authority who have performed far beyond
any reasonable expectation in an environment defined by diminishing
resources and increased expenses."
Fortner emerges from a closed door session following his resignation
as Executive Director of the San Francisco Housing Authority.
Hall endorses Holmes for Mayor
Former Supervisor Tony Hall, who recently ended his candidacy
for mayor of San Francisco, has endorsed Lonnie Holmes.
"We certainly appreciate the support of Tony Hall and his
supporters as we continue to move closer to City Hall," Holmes
said in a statement.
Family man Lonnie Holmes with his exuberant wife Paris and their