Pissing Contest Between Newsom, Avalos May End Next Week

Catch 22.jpg
When conjuring up Catch-22 analogies involving Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor John Avalos, one runs into a stumbling block right away. Which one is Yossarian? And who gets to be Major Major? (Personally, we see Newsom as Milo Minderbinder; they have similar feelings about privitazation).

In any event, the facts: During his State of the City speech, Newsom touted three pro-business tax breaks that would, surely, bring jobs flowing into this city. Avalos, the chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, was unimpressed. He wanted to see some paperwork demonstrating that the mayor's plans weren't costly boondoggles before he scheduled a committee hearing. Well, the mayor's folks said, that's the kind of info that would come out in a hearing.

So, how do you get the paperwork? Have a hearing. How do you get a hearing date? Show some paperwork. Cue Joseph Heller.

Now, however, Avalos tells SF Weekly that he thinks this matter is nearly resolved. The supes' Office of Economic Analysis has completed a draft copy of a report on the mayor's proposals. At this point, Avalos may be ready to schedule a hearing regarding the mayor's tax breaks for his Feb. 10 Budget Committee meeting.

Avalos said the draft plan puts they yearly cost of Newsom's plans at $30 million -- not $60 million as was reported earlier. The supervisor remains unconvinced the plans are worth the cost.

Newsom's spokesman, Tony Winnicker, didn't return our calls. Avalos' spokesman, John Avalos, told us "It's clear the mayor is attempting to politically benefit by putting out the political statement that he cares about jobs. But he knows: A. It's not ready to go forward, and; B. It's nothing of substance. But he's had a little fun with it."

And, perhaps as early as next week, the fun can continue as Avalos et al. hash it out in Budget Committee.

Meanwhile, since Winnicker didn't get back to us, we have no idea if Newsom will attend the supes' Haiti fund-raiser on Friday. "It'd be great to see him," noted Avalos.

The supervisor, by the way, corrected SF Weekly's earlier assessment that Newsom never drops in on the supes at work, so it'd be unlikely he'd visit them while at play. "He popped into my office once," recalled Avalos of Newsom. "Once. He admired my brother's painting above my desk."

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