Newsom Highlights Efforts to Save Jobs and Services

Written by FCJ Editor. Posted in News, Politics

Published on March 06, 2010 with 1 Comment

From the Office of Mayor Gavin Newsom

Editor’s Note:  We welcome and laud Mayor Newsom’s renewed efforts to close an unprecedented $522 million budget shortfall while preserving jobs and services.  However, we believe more can be done to save all jobs and preserve all services whole.  Missing from his shared sacrifice approach are cuts to all departments, including police and fire. Never in the City’s history has mayoral leadership and personal courage been more necessary to put San Francisco interests before political ambition.

March 6, 2010

Mayor Newsom used his YouTube update this week to discuss the City’s budget and his plan to save thousands of city jobs and services by offering 37.5 hour part time positions to most city employees. This proposal will allow the City to maintain services for residents, while saving the City an estimated $50 million. San Francisco faces a projected $522 million budget deficit for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

“The point is to keep people employed and to keep their benefits,” said Mayor Newsom.

San Francisco’s creative budget solution compares to Los Angeles, which is proposing to lay off 4,000 City employees, San Jose which is planning to reduce their workforce by 700 people, and New York City where Mayor Bloomberg is planning for more than 4,000 layoffs.

“We thought it was the most enlightened alternative of the limited number of choices that we were afforded,” said Mayor Newsom. “Go forward with thousands of layoffs or go forward by asking everyone to participate, and step up, and make a contribution, and allow the vast majority of people to keep their jobs, and benefits for the benefit of all San Franciscans,” said Mayor Newsom.

Mayor Newsom also highlighted Thursday’s “Day of Action” rallies against education cuts, calling for adequate, equitable funding for our public schools and universities.

“We’ve seen UC tuition increase almost double over the past seven and a half, eight years,” said Mayor Newsom. “You’ve seen costs at community colleges cost $20 a unit—Now $26 a unit. They’re shutting down opportunities. Its impacted faculty, its impacted morale, and it’s going to devastate the economy of the state unless we wake up and say enough’s enough.”

The mayor answered tweets in his weekly YouTube update about the City’s budget, the San Francisco 49ers, and efforts to help local businesses.

The update can be viewed on the “mayorgavinnewsom” YouTube channel or at

1 Comment

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  1. I got my pink slip. I appreciate being able to stay in SF’s middle class. But I would not be sorry to lose my job if these cuts came with real reform of this giant rickety bureaucracy.

    Budgets are at the heart of government—it’s where their values show through. Where is money spent? On core services? These should always, always be the last to go.

    But likewise, where are the sources of money? The City, and Departments within it, attached themselves to the housing bubble. The City became dependent on the exuberance of the real estate industry (transfer tax, development fees). Like sole source dependence on oil, or anything, it’s not healthy, it’s not sustainable.

    It’s high time to change that. Set SF free.

    Right now both the Mayor’s approach and the union-management alternatives dangle undetermined layoffs ahead. Fear controls. Professionals are silent. Wrong is not righted. Retaliation is expected. This is the status quo.

    Equity comes in different forms: people deserve a better, less wasteful government, and an open government, where people matter. Workers and the public should be part of deciding what services are needed and, from the ground up, what it takes to staff those. Sound radical? It’s called zero-based budgeting and it’s standard public administration practice, but not here.

    I’d suggest creating incentives for early retirement. Allow job-sharing, and allow part-time non-conflicted work outside of government, to reduce staff.

    Cuts should be progressive, with six-figure City earners contributing a much greater percentage. Reduction in pay I’d gladly sacrifice to remove the spectre of layoffs. Take the experience and knowledge of staff to work on providing MORE service delivery, not less. Work on consolidating functions now in several Departments. The City would be making an investment, to retool, but it would be well worth it.

    This is a moment of truth. There are lots of options available, including how and when to use contractors–who are never cheap. But who controls the outcomes goes back to who controls the budget and its sources of money. Who is being served?