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

Sparks rules out third term as police panel prez

Theresa Sparks, the transgender woman who has served two terms as president of the city’s police commission, has ruled out running for a third term.

When she first won the coveted seat by one vote back in 2007, Sparks became the first transgender person to head a city oversight panel. But her ascension led to the resignation of outgoing president Louise Renne, a former city attorney and supervisor.

It also caused political fallout for Commissioner Joe Veronese, who bucked Mayor Gavin Newsom, the person who appointed him, by casting the deciding vote for Sparks. He in turn was not re-appointed by the mayor and saw his bid last year for a state Senate seat fail.

In an e-mail to the Bay Area Reporter, Sparks said when she sought the presidency for a second term last year she committed then that it would be her last time to lead the panel, which oversees the San Francisco Police Department.

The commission, she wrote in response to questions, “needs fresh leadership. Ideas become stale, much like visiting relatives and fish.”

With the commission and mayor poised to hire a new police chief to replace Heather Fong, who is set to retire this summer, Sparks said the timing was right for new leadership of the police panel. Plus, Sparks is unemployed and has applied for several positions out-of-state.

While she plans to remain a member of the commission, her term does not end until 2011, Sparks said she feels she has accomplished the goals she set for her presidency.

“I have completed my original objectives, articulated a vision and set a fresh, new tone for the commission,” she wrote.

The commission will elect its new president in June, and it is expected that Joe Marshall, who lost to Sparks back in 2007, will be elected to the seat.

— Matthew S. Bajko, May 28, 2009 @ 4:13 pm PST
Filed under: News

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