tv [untitled] October 29, 2010 11:00am-11:30am PST
cityn4 and answering your questions about those issues. questions, looa volunteer that will be handing out. i wish to remind you of our ground rules. u÷no campaign signs or buttonsy be distributed were posted inside of thisvájáj)p&e%ei no video taping or flash photography is allowed. q taping for broadcast. turn off or3 other íu=electronic devices. it is my great pleasure to introduce our barbara is a board member3rf serving as co-chair of voter services. her career includesh
speech and communication at san francisco state university, city jt san francisco, and new york university. she is a4#ñju(uq trainer in public speaking, presentation, and media skills. two&2y candidates for assessor recorder. mr.hne ting is with us this evening and will answer questions you submit1si as wells questions that have been submitted to the league of women voters website. he answers will not be . you have many important decision@bd make on november 2. this will give you an opportunity to be heard. xçylet's begin. welcome. o8÷first question, what is your which raises real property transfer tax for properties ÷>> i supported proposition
just like the supported the proposition two years ago that raised theu a certain level. ,a>> has the department been abe to handle alli=t the requests fr reassessment of property due to falling property values? >>é)q we did a couple of things. 7xnour constitutional goal is to fairly and accurately assess property by the end of the fiscal year. the obligation to reduce property2y÷ values, to equalize them to what the tax value should be. u0mwe reviewed over 15,000 ñ 15,000 homeowners were reviewed. ódon top of that, we had a 1100 applicationsw%, almost 4000
homeowners, and we did about the same number this year.údcthat nm ofs ago. they actually small relative to other bay area counties. where we willk propositioigy a reductions. 200,000 properties. "+r>> could you explain your "ce the loophole" >> i started it about a year- and-a-half ago. xwwhat led me to it, i have hao deal=pz with the good and the battle with proposition 13. is influencing every single day.
jvñit was sold as a measure to p seniors, specifically, in their homes. ñi-it was a way to make sure tht the homeowner was never taxed. tax reasons. i still think that that reason ó%ñis very good. i'd think the jobless folks understood this. corporate tax loophole in the state history. burdenljw in terms of paying property taxes on commercial property owners to ho[á)p&e%ei i also see that here in san francisco,j÷ where they paid [unintelligible] over 40%. 6clwe have seen the greatest amt of commercial property developmentp0 -- aú;z few years,
it didn't exist. the towers did not exist. "tñmission they did not exist. of those properties#yat were developed for commercial purposes were much smaller buildings. = boom of our time, how is it ossible if the population stayed flat? commercial property owners are now paying a ;sm- tax burden? >> there6n loopholes -- ó answer is, there are loopholes. 3t2they can hire and much better accountant than you or i can. béqthere is almost no way that a homeowner can escape reassessment because we want to
get taken off of theq deep unles we want to give it to our children. ñ property owners, f the corporation could stay the owner and it would take years. thatedñá is happening. we spent the last five years lodwhv hard at every legal way to close as many loopholes as possible. we included provisions to close homeowner always has to pay tax, 2 tax laws that allow corporations to go without. loopholes was the fact that many people felt like they didn't even need to come into our?d' office to report information.
the largest÷ transactions that occurred the last 50 years was a hedgez@÷ fud the largest commercial property, they bought them out. went and sold thato morgan stanley. when theym%y purchased those properties in february, they decided they did not need to pay transfer ta already sold to morgan stanley. [ just like anybody in the audience here wouldgah have to y a transfer tax. jz of transfer taxes, the largest of our kind.axes, the m it, and we settled. we+ of money. if we did not [sy after them, in a general fund.
':÷public transportation, fundi, all of those critical services we rely on. ññit is important to make sure that there isé homeowners -- it is only fair that commercial interest corporations rules. "0í>> do you have any cost-savig samát(áu)es? ógr>> we have to make sure that government works. as departmenørp+e to make sure that the staff is accountable to all of you, the 5u) salaries. the biggest cost-cutting measure now, ie sure that every employee is
best as possible. when i walked into the office five= records tracking how much work is being done no one knew how many taxpayers or how many phone calls we are getting. nobody knew how manyqghtransfer taxes we were cutting. it was impossibleco3o baseline performance because we have no record of performance. everythingewo anecdotal, based on what people thought. we÷ developed management reports that identify how much work to everybody in the office is doing at relative to peers and relative to what other counties are doing.sewe are working very hare sure that?op every staff persons working as effectively and efficiently as possibleis it pe? absolutely not.
çvit is significantly better tn it was five years ago. f ñfor example, we used to havea voice mail. s"speople call the switchboard d leave a voicemail. people wouldo[z spend an hour retrieving and a leading voice messages. just increased the number of people whose phones would ring to make sure>#p that someone gea live person. if they can't get anyone li it goes back to 311. the other thing is, we translated a good portion of our webr7 spanish. speaks chinese or spanish at home. fhpthere is nothing that provids
services inr-ñ spanish and chin, absolutely none. banks see it as ae%ñ customer service option. why can't we see that diversity [cp-- why is everything only in english when you walk in the door? enwe need to be servicing our customers the way they deserve to be serviced. ñ@swe did 17,000 in formal revi. we#f& have clear the backlog in half. i sr&lion above the budget this last year. we helped close 20% of the office. through the hard work of our 20"staff are working very diligently and making sure that we meet expectations. -ríit is not easy. a lot of my staff think i am pushing% to much. but for me, i only ask as much i know expectations are very
high, andu,i i carry those every single day. the other thing i wanted to get umi to its closing the loophole because i don't think i completely answered the question. cb÷i want to ask citizens, not t in san francisco,t.m closetheloophole.com is 8krwhere you can go if you believe they should be paying a differentáóx rate than home owners. we want to keep homeowners' subsidized under proposition 13. to#/9 continue the subsidy for commercial propaganda doesn't make6i[ stand -- makes sense gin the fiscal situation. example, there is a family that has owned a square portion of the park(kw for 40 years. they have on it so long, the original couple has passed away. p
benefit of the subsidy. them. they live in massachusetts now. (!óa subsidy of money that woule public safety, public health, it and affluent families in massachusetts. what a $600,000 homeowner would pay. jpeople argue, well, that is a t means that we as a people benefit. tézwould your cheaper? would you see eggs being cheaper? we d.ú"g produce cheaper?
where is the money going? "!they're saving hundreds of thousands of dollarsu7 of propy taxes. where is that money going? it is not going toe us, the people that are subsidizing. we are paying morewzc because -s also unfair because=nk competitive advantage. we have![÷ macy's and neiman mas side-by-side where neiman- development and paid three times as much than macy's. o)ñwhy is that fair? there on the block right across from each other? ç come to the closing statement. you are not registered to vote,f please do so right away and urge others that you know to register. juothe deadline is october 18, d
you will need to register at your newkw. address a few have moved. you have one minute. !jç>> thank you for having me he tonight. i appreciate the wonderful work you do. swéwhen i took over the office,t eputation that the city. we have worked very hard every single day for the last five into the twenty first century. g1÷we have made technology a priority. we 3dfu access to services in other languages, which@ou is why we do chinese and spanish. that deserved it in this tough market. we have beenqqo active with educating people that are facing foreclosures. and=5÷ we have worked to cut a backlog÷
it was common for people to not get reassessed forymñ over four years. just by cutting that backlog, we brought ingc above our budget. o6>> on behalf ofççç myself, the league of women voters, and partner organizations sfgtv andm the san francisco public for participating. thank you for taking the timeoi to educate y(> thank you. [applause]
but we do take stands on issues. for further issues about candidates and election issues, visit the web site www.sfvotes.org. that's sfvotes.org. we want to thank our co-sponsors for tonight's forum. sfgtv and the san francisco public library. you will hear from the unopposed candidate for public defender. he will have a chance to present his views on issues affecting the city and the public defender's office, answering your questions about those issues. to submit questions for the candidate, look for a volunteer who will be handing out index cards. i also wish to remind you of our ground rules. the literature, campaign signs, or buttons can be distributed or
posted inside the meeting room. no video taping or flash photography is allowed due to the fact that sfgtv is taping this forum. please turn off or mute yourself loans and other electronic devices. it is my great pleasure to introduce our moderator this evening. barbara is a board member of the leak, serving as co-chair of voters services. her career includes teaching speech and communication at san francisco state university. the city college of san francisco. and new york university. she is a corporate trainer and public speaking, presentation, and media skills. >> this year, we have one candidate for public defender. the candidate will answer questions you in the audience segment as well as questions
that have been submitted to the web site. the answers will not be timed. you have many important decisions to make on november 2. this form will give you an opportunity to be heard. let's begin. >> i am very honored to be here. >> what are your thoughts on death by lethal injection and california's future related to the death penalty? >> it may not come as a surprise to you that i am very much opposed to the death penalty. if there is a lesson that we have learned, the death penalty in california, and for that matter, the indicted states, it has been a failure. we don't have a fair and objective way in order to determine who gets the death penalty. that is one of the fundamental problems with it.
if you look statistically across the united states or even here in california, you will see the people of color overwhelmingly suffer that fate. it has always been historically so. on top of that, it has been a fiscal failure. we're spending millions of dollars unnecessarily to incarcerate individuals who, in most cases, have appeals that go on for years and years. it doesn't give finality to victims in the case or the individual who has been sentenced. i think that the public sentiment has changed. i think it is time that we reconsider this state's laws relating to the death penalty, this nation's laws. the time is now. >> how will your office handle
arrests that come from prop l if it passes? >> that has been a very controversial issue, and i have seen it both sides of the debate. my personal feelings on this lot is that it is unconstitutional. i believe that having a citywide ban of sitting on the sidewalk will criminalize behavior that otherwise should not be criminal. we have reached a point in san francisco where we have a dialogue about a problem, and everybody wants a quick fix. the quick fix is to pass a law. i can tell you that we see the aftermath of these laws. and the very few cases wind up
in court, because the justice system does not have the time to deal with these cases. that is the reality. our caseloads are heavy, our dockets are heavy. beyond that, could you imagine a jury tile -- trial on whether someone was sitting on the sidewalk or not? there needs to be solutions. it will it change behavior the voters will decide. >> what is the hardest case you have had to defend relating to marijuana. >> marijuana cases, we still see them in san francisco we see
sales and possession cases. i represented a man that was charged in cultivation, and he was truly using marijuana for his health condition. but it was before the medical marijuana laws had passed. and so we had to argue to a judge that he had a right to use marijuana because his condition at that time, it was a novel idea. we won that case, but it took almost a year. i still see him. you occasionally become friends with your clients, and they will that never let me it -- they will never let me forget that. he would have faced a state prison sentence and had he been convicted. >> how has this shape your
opinion on proposition 19? >> i am for the legalization of marijuana. i think it is hypocritical in our society that we outlaw marijuana and not alcohol. i think that the time has come for california to reconsider its laws, and it is the citizens#o$ that have taken it o where it is now. it has taken a tremendous amount of public education on this issue. people have, for years, talked about the fact that as a society, it doesn't make sense that we are criminalizing marijuana. there was the movement to decriminalizing marijuana that made it a misdemeanor. and it was often charge as a
felony. there are lots of places where people are sentenced to jail and prison. hopefully through 19, calipf3 will lead the way. >> how will the revelations of the crime lab debacle4ma change discovery in representing the clients you have represented? >> these are excellent questions, don't get me started on the crime lab. that was certainly an event at this year that shook the foundations of the criminal justice system. what happened, there were reports that a chemist who worked in a crime lab for many years, a longtime employee, was taking cocaine from the crime lab home and using w technician's sister.
when we found out about it, it was several months later, and it was thought at the police had just learned about it, it turned outrv÷ that they d known about the problems with this chemist. $6the reason why it when you he a chemist that has access to it, it calls into question every case. ef@we have hundreds of drug cass that are tried every week hall of justice. hall of justice. p'd found that some of the weights were not properly recorded. there was no way for us zñ$@&e%i that because we don't have access to the crime lab,éçx the evidence was often late when the drugs were bro i