Loonies Wander SF Streets as City Workers Discover Brunch, Nooners on Columbus Day

Every Monday, the SF Weekly News blog 'The Snitch' reports on what the SF City Government will be up to this week in a post we call: SFGovernmentInAction. This week, Columbus Day shuts down everything, while the crazies have no place to go and Ross Mirkarami wants something done about it. -ed
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By Benjamin Wachs

Government’s pretty much taking the week off in San Francisco, what with the Columbus Day holiday and all.

Come on, it’s Columbus Day! Like you don’t have any Columbus Day plans! Just you wait: today’s going to be HUGE!

Mayor Gavin Newsom is going to read a prepared speech about Christopher Columbus, refuse to take any questions, and then forget that America was ever discovered. Supervisor Chris Daly is going to propose a “progressive” motion urging the United States of America to un-discover themselves. And Ed Jew, if rumors can be believed, will be arrested again on charges of extorting $40,000 from Christopher Columbus’ descendants, who wanted to open a tapioca shop.

Columbus Day in San Francisco! Does it get any better?

Monday, October 8:

City government’s pretty much shut down today, although I understand that the “Land Use and Development Committee” has an exclusive VIP Room that will still be open for high rollers.

Tuesday, October 9:

No meetings today either.

Come on, people! You’ve got a $6 billion budget! Hold a meeting! Appoint a task force: whatever you do, don’t let people realize that the city can run without you!

Wednesday, Oct. 10, Budget and Finance Committee:

Finally, we’re back in business. The Budget and Finance Committee is making up for other slacker committees by having a surprisingly large agenda this week. The most notable item is an agreement the City is entering into with the Northern California Joint Pole Association – mainly because I think the name “Northern California Joint Pole Association” is hilarious.

But nestled between routine items lie some heavy-hitting committee hearings.

First up is a hearing called by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi to discuss what the City has to do now that there have been substantial cuts to the San Francisco General Hospital’s Psychiatric Emergency Services Unit.

In other words: we’ve got lots of crazy people and no place to put them. Think anybody’s noticed?

Interestingly, this hearing was originally convened back in early August, in the City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee. Two months later it got kicked over to the Budget Committee. My guess is this means either (a) nobody but Mirkarimi really wants to talk about it, or (b) they don’t know what to do anyway.
Now if I know Ross (who has personally not returned several of my calls) this is the part where he hits city hall staff over the head with some really pointed questions. Don’t let me down, Bro – it’s a slow news week.

The second major item before the Budget Committee this week is an examination of the highly embarrassing Workforce Development Program audit – the one that showed the city was throwing millions of dollars into jobs programs that weren’t actually finding people jobs. Supervisor Tom Ammiano’s been on a tear about this for months, and now he’s called a hearing to put the pressure on. SWEET! This could be the best Columbus Day Week ever!

Finally, we have the notorious Transit Shelter Advertising Agreement between the City and Clear Channel Outdoor Inc, allowing Clear Channel (henceforth to be known as “The Fuckers”) to construct advertisement-laden outdoor structures. There’s nothing really unusual about this – we’ve had advertiser run-and-maintained public transportation shelters for decades now – but I just want to be clear that, as a result of this agreement, The Fuckers are going to control just that much more of what you see every day.
Christopher Columbus wouldn’t have wanted it that way.

Thursday, Oct. 11:
City Operations and Neighborhood Services Committee

This is the only other Board of Supervisors meeting this week, and sadly it’s a dud. They’ll be accepting state grants to blah blah blah blah blah and authorizing money to yadda-yadda-yadda. Assuming you don’t mind if city librarians get tuition assistance for higher education, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice gets money to support battered women, or the City accepts a state grant “for the purpose of increasing Used Motor Oil Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste Management” then there’s nothing to see here. It’s all that kind of thing.

And that’s it. Have a happy Columbus Day, and try not to discover anything I wouldn’t.


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