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Pomp and circumstance at City Hall

January 10, 2016

By Examiner Editorial Board : sfexaminer – excerpt

Editorial calls for independent Ethics funding, hails Pelham
arrival, calls for more activist Ethics Commission.

Mayor Ed Lee was inaugurated to his second full term Friday, but the mood at City Hall was far from jubilant. Amid the official celebration many came to make their grievances known, adding boos and angry shouts to the ceremony.

With Lee’s poor re-election showing in November, mustering just 55 percent of the vote without any organized opposition, a series of City Hall protests against his administration, growing calls to oust Police Chief Greg Suhr, Aaron Peskin’s reemergence enlivening the progressives and a general groundswell of grumbling over the continued official disregard for the disenfranchised in The City, this has certainly not been Lee’s favorite year.

The landscape got no cheerier in the first week of 2016, when District Attorney George Gascon in his second inaugural address compared Lee’s administration to some of the most corrupt San Francisco has ever seen, putting the current mayor in some pretty impressive company.

At the Hall of Justice event Wednesday, Gascon vowed to use his second term to root out systemic public corruption in The City and push forward with needed criminal justice reforms.

“Whether police, politician or powerhouse, we must rein-in misconduct in the public realm,” he said. “The only thing worse than violating the public trust is to let that violation go unanswered.”

And, just before the new year, Lee’s order to departments to cut services amid San Francisco’s record prosperity did not go down very well. The Ethics Commission was the first to push back. At a Tuesday hearing, the committee seemed incredulous that the mayor would so brazenly seek to undercut services needed for a functioning city…

When he was done, Brown ominously told the mayor: “I’ll leave you to your fate.”

Unfortunately, at least for the duration of Lee’s next term, that fate is bound with that of The City… (more)


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