Scott Wiener Wants to Give Supes Power to Repeal Ballot Initiatives

Supervisor Scott Wiener
Supervisor Scott Wiener says he plans to propose a charter amendment at today's Board of Supervisors meeting that would grant the supes power to amend or appeal ballot initiatives approved by voters --  a step he insists will help reduce the number of such measures San Francisco residents are asked to weigh in on during election seasons.

The the change to the city's charter would allow the supervisors to amend or appeal a ballot measure with a two-thirds majority after it has been in effect for three years, and through a simple majority vote after seven years.

 An exception would be made for initiatives put on the ballot through voter petition, as opposed to those put up for a popular vote by the supervisors or mayor. Voter-driven measures could only be amended, not repealed.

If passed, Wiener's proposal could represent a significant shift of political power -- away from the ballot box, where voters often decide important public-policy matters through a popular vote.

Wiener says his charter amendment doesn't target any particular ordinance or initiative passed in recent years.

"The only context is that this is a better way of doing government," he told SF Weekly. "There's no specific ordinance that caused me to do this. I have no agenda except to take a small step toward making our city's government work better."

In recent years, many have criticized California's referendum process, particularly at the statewide level, for hamstringing the workings of legislators -- for instance, through decades-old ballot measures, including Proposition 13, that limit the state's ability to levy taxes.

The most hotly watched municipal ballot initiative in 2011 will likely be a new version of last year's Proposition B, which would have increased city employees' contributions to their pensions and health-care plans.

However, Wiener says his charter amendment would not apply to the so-called "Son of B," because the pension-reform measure will likely be a charter amendment itself. His legislation would only apply to ordinances passed by the voters, not revisions to the city charter.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF

My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest

This isn't "...making our city's government work better."This is truly awful! and an attempt at a *huge* power grab.

Why hasn't D8 started a recall campaign yet?This guy has overreached too many times already.

Let's get a Charter Amendment out there to limit the supes to a part-time job. They have way too much time on their hands if they are intro'ing this sort of thing.

First the Planning Dept has tried (and been partly successful in attempting to limit citizens' participation, now the supes are taking government by fiat to a new level.


Notably, Weiner will introduce a measure at the same time to allow the Ethics Commission and Board to amend the law governing public disclosure of political consultants. It will go on the November ballot to approve removing voter approval to amendments to Ammiano’s measure. Just what we want -- supervisors and a derelict Ethics Commission deciding on what political consultants have to tell the public about their deals between their client-candidates and the businesses that hire them as lobbyist.

h. brown
h. brown


Ichabod Crane becomes the 'headless horseman'. Amazing picture. I'm guessing bottom line is that Wiener thinks the new Moderate Board majority will last long enough to overturn the Gonzalez/Hall Class of 2000 curbs on the powers of the Mayor.

Wiener seems to have no personality. And yet, he's so blandly hyper-intense. How the hell is that even possible? He's the kind of character you can ignore until you find him hiding in your closet when you reach in for your housecoat at 3am after a hard night on the town.

Beware of anything associated with Scott Wiener.

He's a 'fine print' guy and that's where the Devil lives.

Go Giants!



The Public Policy Institute of California found that only half of voters know what a bond issuance is, and how many of those are we asked to vote on at a local and state level? Too many things in San Francisco and California get punted to the voters, who really can't be sufficiently informed on every proposition every election cycle to make an informed decision. The legislative branch needs to be able to keep the electorate's decisions in check should they prove to have grave unintended consequences. I think this is a good idea.

Go Giants indeed!


In this state the PEOPLE are the BOSS! The people must have the power to overrule politicians who are controlled by special interests such as developers. This punk and all others of his ilk should be removed from office. If these arrogant politicians will not accept an election result for a ballot measure they don't like, the election result that put them in office should not be respected either.

Now Trending

From the Vault


©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.