Monday, January 03, 2011

Secret Milk Club Chat
About New SF Mayor?

[Updates: See below.]

There's a lot of confusion over who will be the mayor of San Francisco once the current holder of that office, Gavin Newsom, resigns and moves up to Sacramento where he will serve as the state's lieutenant governor. He won't step down until the new Board of Supervisors is installed later this week.

It's expected that the incoming supervisors are going to pick a moderate to be mayor until the general election in November, and Newsom is doing everything he can to prevent the current board's progressive members from picking his replacement.

It's all quite convoluted and Tim Redmond, the editor of the liberal weekly Bay Guardian, this week opined about how Newsom should move on already and let the supervisors fulfill their replacement duties. To help sort out the confusion and players in this civic drama, Redmond wrote the following:

I'm moderating a Harvey Milk Club panel discussion Jan. 3 and all the prospective candidates are invited. The least any potential mayor can do is show up and answer questions.

Oddly, he shared no info on where and when that meeting is taking place tonight, and the Bay Guardian didn't bother to link to a site where those details could be found. I checked the Milk Club's site and found no info on the panel discussion. Is this a secret meeting?

If there's a public forum tonight about who our next mayor will be and the process employed to pick that person, the least the Bay Guardian and the Milk Club can do is inform the general public about the meeting's place and time. Is that asking too much?


Five minutes after I blogged on the meeting, this note came my way from David Waggoner, the president of the Milk Club: "The meeting - which of course would have been open to the public- was cancelled." Thanks, David, for the correct info. 

UPDATE #2: And this reply came from Tim Redmond, and I'm happy to learn the paper did include the info on where and when for the meeting. I totally share Tim's frustration and disappointment. The citizens of SF deserve a better, more transparent and engaged process to pick an interim mayor. Tim said:

Not a secret at all, Michael, and in our alerts section we put out the exact time and place. Unfortunately, not a single candidate was willing to attend, so the event's been cancelled. I consider that pretty lame behavior by people who appear to want progressive support to take office as interim mayor. I understand that current supervisors are barred by law from attending, but there's no reason Agnos, Hennessey, Harrington et al couldn't show up and give the Milk Club and the rest of the city some idea of what they would do in room 200. So I'm disappointed.

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