Chiu, Lee Talk About Repairing Relationship Between Mayor and the Board of Supervisors

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If there is anything that the new Board of Supervisors can learn from their predecessors, it's that provoking the mayor can only backfire.

After a tense week that shook San Francisco's political circles, Supervisor David Chiu today invited city administrator Ed Lee, who is expected to be sworn in as the interim mayor tomorrow afternoon, for a face-to-face talk.

Chiu had an hour-long chat with Lee, where they discussed upcoming challenges, including the pending budget deficit, and, more importantly, how to repair relationships between city supervisors and the mayor's office.

Chiu took a verbal beating from progressive supervisors last week after he cast his vote in favor of appointing Lee to replace Gavin Newsom, who was sworn in as lieutenant governor on Monday.

After the meeting with Lee on Monday afternoon, Chiu said he believes the two agree that it's time to turn a new leaf; they both want the relationship between the mayor and the Board of Supervisors to change for the better.

Newsom maintained an acrimonious relationship with some members of the Board of Supervisors during his seven years in office, namely Supervisor Chris Daly and former Supervisor Aaron Peskin. The two Newsom critics have at times gone out of their way to blast the former mayor publicly, with Daly going as far as insinuating Newsom snorts cocaine.

"It's fair to say that the mayor and the Board of Supervisors have had a rocky relationship," Chiu told SF Weekly. "But I believe we are moving into a new phase in the relationship."

Lee, who returned from Taiwan to San Francisco Sunday evening, could not be reached for comment.

But based on the fact that Lee is not a politically charged person, Chiu expects the relationship with the new mayor to be "very, very good.".

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DDear SFMTA Board Directors and Mr. Nathaniel Ford: Re the email/attachment memo & chart sent 7:30 pm to all employees on 1/11/11 on the suddenproomotion of Mr. Carter Rohan to Deputy Executive Director or 2nd in command of all SFMTAeffective tommorrow, Jan 14, many of us were at first very puzzled and caught off guard. Memowas cc to MTA board, Mayor Lee, BOS, union.. We now learn from Mr. Rohan's staff that at his meeting yesterday, he disclosed the real intentbehind the action. Apparently, Mr. Rohan openly admitted that he is using this new position as stepping stone to be interim CEO given your inevitable departure with Nov election. Also somethingabout Mr. Rohan's intent to then drag out the interim CEO position so he can gain enoughexperience re service side to become next permanent Executive Director/CEO of SFMTA. This explains the puzzles. This explains why all the other executive staff were demoted to title of"officer" from "Director", to highligh Mr. Rohan, as the only director remaining, as the next natuarl interim CEO. This explains the sudden and speedy action, to hopefully escape scrutiny, just when new Mayor and BOS members hardly have time to sit down during their first week.

This does not. bode well for public perception, staff's trust and morale. We all knowthere are equally if not more talented individuals within the organ and City who deserve a chance to compete. But this whole thing came about without adequate advertisement for job application asnormally done for other executive staff and without national search/board hearing approval as in case of CEO position. We all know Mr. Rohan is a long time friend of Mr. Ford brought over from Altanta a few years back. We know Mr. Rohan does not have experience with half of functions assigned to himbeginning tomorrow. With such important position at stake and to avoid further erosion of staff's trust and morale, please reconsider.Or at least postpone the action until there is open competition made available. If Mr. Rohan must assume his new duties beginning tomorrow, we request the title be changedto Admiinstrative Assistant to Executive Director to better reflect his duties and so as to downplay the notion of imminent interim CEO etc. and that salary and benefits not be increased. However, if we have misjudged the whole situation and Mr. Rohan is in fact the person groomed to be next CEO, we need to applaud his noble aspiration and allow him the chance to gain transit service experience by working under Mr. John Haley, Transit Officer,for a year. There are many more critical positions to be filled under Operations, Maintenance that could use speical talents to get us out of the current rut. Thank you for listening. From those who have worked long and hard for SFMTA and wish for a better SFMTAear

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