San Francisco voters to consider
four local ballot measures on June 6
By Angela Hokanson, Bay City News Service
June 5, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Four local ballot measures are up
for consideration by San Francisco voters in the June 6 Gubernatorial
Primary Election. The local measures cover issues as varied as
the allocation of funding for homicide prevention services, modifications
to the city's eviction disclosure laws, changes to the composition
of the board of directors of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority
and changes to the city's planning code to allow both public and
private residential health care facilities in the city's public
Proposition A, which would alter the city's charter, proposes
to allocate an additional $10 million a year for the next three
years for homicide and violence prevention services.
The additional funding would go toward supporting programs such
as workforce training, substance abuse treatment, conflict resolution
and family and witness relocation services for populations where
there are high levels of violence.
Monies currently spent on violence prevention programs, which
the City Controller estimates to be approximately $35 million,
could not be reduced during the three-year period if the proposition
A homicide prevention planning council, made up of city officials
and citizens from communities with high homicide rates, would
also be established through the proposition. The council would
be charged with developing annually a homicide prevention plan
to be submitted to the Board of Supervisors.
The community organization Coleman Advocates for Children and
Youth supports the proposition because, the group argues, it addresses
some of the "root causes" of violence in San Francisco,
according to Jose Luis Pavon, a youth coordinator at Coleman Advocates.
Law enforcement activities in the city are already heavily funded,
according to Pavon, but more money needs to be spent on violence
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd opposes the proposition on the grounds
that existing violence prevention programs should be audited to
determine which ones are working before decisions are made on
The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce supports the concept behind
the measure, but opposes the proposition because it is a charter
amendment and the city could set homicide prevention funding levels
by ordinance, according to Jim Lazarus, senior vice president
of the Chamber.
"This is on the ballot because some supervisors wanted to
have an anti-violence platform in an election year," Lazarus
The Board of Supervisors put Proposition A on the ballot through
a 6 to 5 vote. Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Chris Daly, Sophie Maxwell,
Ross Mirkarimi, and Gerardo Sandoval voted in favor of putting
the proposition on the June ballot.
Proposition B is an ordinance that would require landlords who
are selling buildings that have two or more residential units
to tell all potential buyers in writing whether or not any tenants
evicted from the building are elderly or disabled. Landlords are
already required by city law to disclose to buyers the specific
legal grounds for the eviction of any tenants of residential units
that are vacant at the close of sale.
According to Supervisors Daly, Mirkarimi, and Peskin, this more
detailed level of eviction disclosure would reduce the number
of evictions in San Francisco because it would become more difficult
to sell units that were freed up because of evictions.
Proposition B would help "stop the rapacious movement of
speculative housing practices that have been in place (in San
Francisco) for awhile," Barbara Blong, the housing director
of Senior Action Network, said.
Some opponents of Proposition B, such as the Small Property Owners
of San Francisco, argue that buyers are already informed of Ellis
Act evictions and that the disclosure of Ellis Act evictions will
not deter buyers because of the demand for home ownership.
Supervisors Ammiano, Daly, Maxwell, Mirkarimi and Peskin put
Measure B on the ballot.
Proposition C would introduce an ordinance that would change
the designation of the city's representatives on the Board of
Directors of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. The TJPA is
charged with building and operating the new Transbay Transit Center,
which is set to replace the Transbay Terminal.
Currently three of the five TJPA board members are appointed
by San Francisco officials. One representative is appointed by
the San Francisco mayor, one by the Board of Supervisors and one
by the Municipal Transportation Agency's board of directors.
Measure C would instead designate three elected officials to
represent San Francisco on the TJPA board - the Mayor of San Francisco,
the member of the board of supervisors representing District 6,
where the Transbay Transit Center will be located, and the member
of the board of supervisors who is on the Metropolitan Transportation
Supervisor Chris Daly, who represents District 6 and who supports
Proposition C, says that the measure is intended to refocus attention
on the rebuilding of the transit terminal. The proposition would
require the mayor specifically to be involved in the project,
which, Daly said, is "going to be necessary for moving the
political will for making the project happen."
The TJPA should have elected officials set policy and transit
professionals to carry out the policies on a day-to-day basis,
Daly said. The TJPA has been plagued by problems such as "bureaucrats
that don't show up for meetings," Daly said.
While Proposition C will most likely not pass, Daly said, it
has succeeded in bringing the issues surrounding the transbay
transit project to the attention of the Newsom administration.
Newsom, for his part, opposes the measure, arguing that the mayor's
office is already represented on the TJPA board and that the measure
will replace a transit professional with a politician.
Supervisors Ammiano, Daly, Ma and Mirkarimi put Proposition C
on the ballot.
Proposition D would amend the city's planning code to create
the "Laguna Honda Hospital Special Use District" where
the Laguna Honda Hospital is now located. New facilities located
in this special use district would need to be either residential
health care facilities or certain other assisted living facilities.
The measure would also introduce changes the planning code to
allow both publicly-owned and privately-owned residential health
care facilities to operate in districts that are zoned as "public"
The proposition would also allow the city's zoning administrator
to enforce limitations on Laguna Honda Hospital and other residential
health care facilities located in any public district in San Francisco,
such as the admission of patients with certain conditions.
The city controller estimates that the ordinance would cost about
$27 million a year, due to public health patients no longer being
able to be treated at Lagunda Honda Hospital and requiring care
in other health care facilities.
Supporters of Proposition D argue that the measure will maintain
Laguna Honda as a care facility for seniors and the physically
Opponents of the measure, such as San Francisco Public Health
Director Mitch Katz, argue that the ordinance will allow private
developers to build for-profit facilities on public land and that
the measure inadvertently requires decisions about patient admissions
at Laguna Honda to be made by the zoning administrator, and not
health care professionals.
Proposition D, as an initiative ordinance, qualified for placement
on the ballot by obtaining the 10,486 signatures necessary.
All of the local ballot measures need a simple majority to pass.
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