Supes on: the budget — ‘Our side allowed the mayor to get what they wanted,’ says Mirkarimi

District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi recently spoke with The Public Press about government waste and the need for budget process reform.

While "delighted" that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was able to "extract" $45 million from Mayor Gavin Newsom’s budget, Mirkarimi said he was still unhappy with the budget process as a whole. He said he would like to see the budget changed to a two-year cycle from the current one-year cycle or at least have the budget submitted before June 1.

"Our side allowed the mayor … to get what they wanted," Mirkarimi said. "But, in return, we got what we wanted in terms of a higher level of dollars."

He said the add back process was "barbaric" for groups who do not have political power within the city government.

He questioned the inefficiencies of the city government and called out San Francisco’s public relations employees as an example of government waste. He said the city employs nearly 70 public relations workers — five being with the mayor’s office.

"I feel like these are kind of well-paid coveted positions," he said. "No mayor has ever had this many … not even Willie Brown who was a very high profile mayor."

He also said the police department did not give much money back to help balance the city’s budget.

"I think it is a very top-heavy department," he said. "The idea for me is less in the stations, more on the streets, more in the neighborhoods especially neighborhoods that are chronically distressed.









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