No Satisfaction: Disputed Entertainment Commission Seat Still Up For Grabs

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And so the not-so-entertaining Entertainment Commission saga continues: Earlier this week, we reported that three applicants are vying for one of the commission's two vacant seats. The open seat is supposed to be reserved for a representative of the public health sector -- no matter how many bartenders apply. Following this morning's Board of Supervisors Rules Committee meeting, that seat remains empty.

The supes opted to postpone the decision because one of the applicants, David Lupo, didn't show; the Entertainment Commission's executive director, Bob Davis, speculated that Lupo  might be in Indonesia. Lupo's absence today was more like a gaping hole considering he is the only applicant who has admitted problematic ties to the entertainment industry.

In his application, Lupo stated that he currently works as a bartender in North Beach and has played music in local clubs and bars -- which could mean more industry insiders on an already packed commission critics charge has been taken over by the very interests it purports to regulate (as noted in a July cover story). The other two candidates -- who both showed up at this morning's meeting -- are Neal Cavellini, a lieutenant with the San Francisco Fire Department, Michael Kim, a marketing manager at an online gaming company. Both Lupo and Cavellini have paramedic training in their backgrounds, according to their applications, but Kim does not appear to have any public health related experience.  

At this morning's Rules Committee meeting, Davis, stressed the urgency of filling the vacant seat and urged supervisors to pick one of the candidates despite Lupo's absence. Davis said that the seven-member committee is currently down to four people -- then later corrected himself and said it was actually down to five. This, he said, is putting pressure on existing members because it takes a minimum four votes to move any item. He added there had been health-related committee member absences of late (which perhaps makes it feel more like four?). The other vacant seat on the committee is supposed to be appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Supervisor David Campos somewhat sharply told Davis that, in a committee of five, a quorum of four should not be hard to reach. Despite Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier's reminders that the supervisors don't normally put an item on hold because someone doesn't show for a meeting, Campos said he felt the item deserved thorough examination and supported postponing the decision. He then urged Davis to put pressure on Newsom to fill the other vacant seat. (In other words, Newsom has just as much responsibility as the supervisors do to get the vacant slots on the committee filled).

Although no decisions were made today, the supervisors did throw a few softball questions at the other two applicants. Maybe they're saving their high hard ones for Lupo when he potentially makes an appearance at the next meeting two weeks from now.
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