David Chiu Makes Committee Assignments That 'Complete the Coup'

Categories: Politics
Thumbnail image for Carmen Chu.jpeg
Is the Coup Complete?
Former supervisor Chris Daly noted on his Facebook page that the "coup is complete," referring to the new committee appointments for the Board of Supervisors.

Board president David Chiu on Tuesday afternoon announced the new sitting members of the seven Board committees, making the more moderate Carmen Chu chair of the most powerful committee --  Budget and Finance.

True, Chu voted for the other Chiu on Saturday when he was up for reelection as board president; so was it just a favor returned?

City Hall pundits say Daly's theory that the "coup is complete" doesn't holdup -- and this why.
Looking at the list of committees, all the progressive members of the Board of Supervisors -- Jane Kim, Ross Mirkarimi, David Campos and John Avalos -- have been appointed to chair committees. Only one moderate -- Chu -- is chairing a committee.

Kim, a progressive who represents District 6, was made chair of the Rules Committee, which is responsible for making commission appointments and charter amendments and Campos is chair of the Government Audits & Oversight committee, which is in charge of approving contracts and leases.

Even if progressives given a disadvantage, the idea that one committee is more powerful than another is misleading since it's the board president who ultimately decides what items are heard by which committees.

There is one oddity in Chiu's appointments which has perplexed some political circles. Chiu made the atypical move of creating committees having the chair of the committee from one political camp and the two other standing members being from the opposite political camp. 

So Supervisor Campos might be the chair of the Government Audits & Oversight Committee, but the two other members are moderates, David Chiu and Mark Farrell. That means as chair, Campos will set the agenda, but he will have a harder time getting items passed.

"It's a bit of a problem," one city hall insider said. "It will certainly make committee meetings more lively than before."

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JohnCamp
JohnCamp

AUDIT THIS Dear 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 SFMTALETTER:

JspiderSF
JspiderSF

I gotta disagree with the City Hall pundits. The power of a chairing a committee is pretty meaningless if you don't have a second vote to get things out of committee.

There's some flexibility for the President on assigning legislation, but items with fiscal impact have to go to either Budget or Government Audits and Oversight. The Board Rules also describe which committees are supposed to hear which types of items. There's some wiggle room, but Budget, Land Use, and Rules are the most powerful committees.

It's interesting that Chiu set himself up as the swing vote on Budget. In Land Use, look for Cohen and Weiner to be developers new best friends. (Hello there, CPMC!) In Rules, look for Elsbernd and Ferrell to block potential progressive charter amendments.

Whether you want to call it a coup or not, this is the most substantial shift in power at the Board since 2000.

SFCitizen
SFCitizen

"So Supervisor David Chiu" s/b Campos?

"So Supervisor David Chiu might be the chair of the Government Audits & Oversight Committee, but the two other members are moderates, David Chiu and Mark Farrell

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