Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Newsom wants ‘caretaker’ interim mayor, willing to delay taking state office

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will push back his taking state office if the current Board of Supervisors does not agree to appoint a “caretaker” mayor to replace him.

The lieutenant governor-elect told KCBS radio today that he would be willing to postpone his swearing-in ceremony on January 3 to ensure that a person who intends to seek the job permanently isn’t named the interim mayor.

The current board’s final meeting isn’t until January 4, so should Newsom depart prior to that date the supervisors in office now could appoint his replacement. Should they fail to do so, then Board President David Chiu becomes the de facto mayor until the new, more moderate  board, which will be sworn in January 8, chooses a replacement.

Twice now the current supervisors have punted selecting an interim mayor. A person nominated for the position needs to secure six votes among the 11-member board in order to become interim mayor.

Even if the board had chosen someone, that person would still need to be voted on again once Newsom leaves office for Sacramento. The political posturing and intrigue has consumed City Hall and political junkies across the city and nation.

Until today, Newsom had kept his plans a closely held secret. But he told KCBS he believes he can postpone his swearing in ceremony in order to influence the selection of the new mayor.

“I’ll reserve my right to wait until the new board convenes that will have to deal with the decision and consequences of an interim mayor pick,” Newsom told the local radio station. “I care deeply about who the mayor is and I just want to make sure it’s someone that is not going to take us backwards and is going to create a political firestorm because I’ll feel some sense of accountability to that.”

Newsom went on to say he is concerned that someone to the far left of his political stance would become mayor.

“I can’t just walk away and see everything blow up and there are a few politicians in this town that want to serve on ideological agenda,” Newsom told KCBS. “The board should pick a caretaker, not a politician. That’s my criteria.”

Progressives in recent weeks have been pushing to see openly gay Supervisor David Campos become mayor.

Other names floated include openly gay state Senator Mark Leno, sheriff Michael Hennessey, former Mayor Art Agnos, and openly gay Public Utilities Commission General Manager Ed Harrington.

— Matthew S. Bajko, December 17, 2010 @ 3:00 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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