tv [untitled] October 21, 2012 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT
t. washington center to where i was recently president, building affordable housing half of had which will be dedicated to emancipated youth. so i think we really do need to look at the root cause of the issue. it's about inequity and how we provide supportive housing and mental health services and drug treatment and really look at the problem from its source. thank you. >> thank you. davis, miss olague and miss selby. >> currently any member of public can review a project. critics say this results in costs and limiting supply of
housing. opponents say discretionary review is necessary so that everyone affected by a project can be heard. how would you if the all reform the discretionary process? mr. davis, miss olague and miss selby. >> as a board president of booker t. recently we had to seek permission from the board of supervisors for housing and community space. , as much as i would have liked that process to go quicker, as much as i would have liked to see less opposition from some of the neighbors. we had a lot of support from the neighbors as well. i think it's really important that folks have the opportunity to air their concerns at city hall to, air their concerns at planning, to air their concerns in front of the board of supervisors and ultimatelis a community, we do need to decide and balance interests and mitigate impacts and at the end of the day the booker t. project final designs are better than started because it
did go through a review process. so i wouldn't try to limit discretionary review. i think it's an important part of the process, of planning in san francisco and a vital example of community input and planning in san francisco. >> miss olague. >> christiana olague. apologies for being late. we' hearing on achievement gaps between african-american and the discussion was such that i didn't feel i should leave. that being said, the booker t. washington was definitely a very contentious project that i sat on the commission at the time. a lot of opposition may be classified as nimby opposition, but this is not the case of a discretionary review. discretionary review are usually initiated by neighbors, 311 notice. your neighbor wants to add a deck or do something to their property and anyone in the city, not just your neighbor, but if you feel like you are going to have a significant
impact as a result of the changes that they are making, then you can file a dr. i think the department is attempting to make some reforms so the work at the front-end is better [thr-fpt/] are a lot of contentiousneighborhood issues that result from discretionary reviews that aren't always positive, but we need to keep that process in place and so i support the dr process. >> thank you, miss selby. >> thea selby, yes, i was just today on the street of the citizens general obligation bond oversight committee and we were talking about a variety of different kinds of things that we could do here in san francisco that are pretty unusual and i also specialty a lot of time in the neighborhoods and was in coal valley last weekend and heard from neighbors who had
difficulties with discretionary reviews. it seems to me that there are always going to be people that -- whatever you want to call them. people who will take advantage of things when you ask for their input. perhaps if we can have more communication on the front-end, that would help. so if you can communicate with your neighbor on the front-end on this, hopefully, you can have a better result at the end. and i do think that it might be worth looking into to see if there is a way that we can make it less potentially, you know, we don't want to be destructive. we want to work together basically. thank you. >> now we have an arguably related question for miss breed, mr. davis and mr. everett. what steps should the city take to increase the supply of new housing units? >> i served on the san francisco redevelopment agency
commission for five years. i watched as developers who developed luxury condominiums similar to the project of 8 washington where they are trying to develop luxury condominiums. they pay into an affordable housing fund. and that affordable housing doesn't always necessarily get built. and right now the city is backlogged over 6,000 affordable housing units and this is since i before i left redevelopment agency. and so i'm sure that it's increased since then. we can't keep paying into this affordable housing fund and not building the affordable housing. i think it's important for us to focus on making sure that we build those housing units and when developers come in and they want to build affordable housing, that we hold them accountable to building that affordable housing simultaneously to the development of the developments that they want to build as well. >> thank you. mr. davis? >> san francisco is in need of
18,000 affordable housing units says the association of bay area governments. our housing element of you are general plan calls for 60% of new housing to be affordable housing. we need to address this issue head-on and build the affordable housing that this community and this city desperately needs. how do we do that? i think we need to go back to the ballot with an affordable housing bond. we have haven't passed one in san francisco since 1996. we have an opportunity this fall with prop c to support the first permanent dedicated stream of funding for affordable housing. it's on the november ballot. and i encourage everybody to vote for it. on the ballot as well is a business tax restructure to bring in new revenue for the city and many millions of dollars from that, about 13 will be dedicated to the affordable housing so we can ramp up development of affordable housing in san francisco.
>> thank you. mr. everett? >> providing affordable housing is a central and extremely important issue. that being said, we also need to look at how we deal with public housing within the city and county of san francisco. i grew up in section 8 housing. i know what that is like. i grew up on food stamps, i know what that is like. we need to understand how we can end some of the cycles that we talk about on a day to day basis and the root causes of those cycles. the way to address those is to directly target the housing crisis in san francisco and directly target hud housing. we do that by providing vouchers to folks. with the vouchers you could take a family and moved them into mixed income units. i am a product of that. i am a product of a young person being able to wake up in the morning and see to my left a doctor and see to my right a
professional person and think intuitively why not me too? that is the san francisco that will move forward in the future. >> thank you. the next several questions regard fiscal policy and related matters. fiscal analysts project that the city's liabilities will increase substantially in the coming years. miss breed, mr. everett, and miss johnson, if the city needs to generate new revenue to balance its budget, what new or increased taxes or fees should it consider? çk w miss breed, mr. everett and mr. johnson. >> london breed. i think part of what i see is a lot of waste and i also see a lot of very high salaries. i think we need to start by making sure, for example, when not going to pay for bottled
water and that saved the city millions of dollars. i think we need to start looking at things, like cutting the costs on the number of vehicles we use, gas and some of the basics in order to save revenue in that capacity. we also need to look at the salaries. i know that we, as members of the board of supervisors, that is a little bit more difficult, because we get into potentially micromanaging. but in terms of fees, there are a number of ways to look at new fees, but i do think that we need to manage what we have now in a responsible way before we start to open the door to new opportunities to increasing revenue for the city. >> thank you. mr. everett. >> what we need to do is stop raising revenue off the backs of people who could afford it the least. if we're going to go out and give tax breaks to twitter, besides the reasoning
associated with that, we can't at the same time say we increase your parking or the cost to ride muni and the direct and real impact that has on the lives of ordinary people that. is what my campaign is all about. it might seem like a small issue, parking fees, but by implication, those who can afford it the least, those are the ones without garages. the most important asset you have as a low-income individual is your automobile. i'm on the campaign trail on a daily basis and people lament and almost cry to me because their vehicle has been booted or towed and they cannot get to work. san francisco has to stop raising revenue off the backs of people who can afford it the least. >> thank you, miss johnson. >> if you look on the sheets that has all of our combined
answers you will see that i'm one the few people who doesn't support a lot of new taxes. i have served on the sunshine task force and we had a lot of members of public come in front of us, looking for reasons why all of these projects were overbudget and i think there is a lot of waste there government. we just talked about the hetch hetchy matter and building was supposed to be $140 million, but it was actually $65 million over budget. the department of public works doesn't even have all of its receipts. the bond oversight committee is supposed to be have access to those receipts. they can't get them. so we ce[6ud money is not accounted for. we found waste in the arts commission, which the controllers office confirmed and the civil grand jury confirm and we also found waste in various other departments. and this board of supervisors needs people on it who will
actually ask those questions. thank you. we have a couple other candidates who wanted to jump in here. mr. davis and miss selby. >> after $1.5 billion in public service sector cuts in san francisco since 2008, since our budget crisis, we can't balance our budget going forward on cuts alone. we have got to look for revenue with muni failing and unmaintained parks we need a comprehensive, aggressive revenue strategy. i was one of the activists and advocates who helped to get the gross receipts measure to the ballot and box g to actually start collecting gross receipts data. i would look at the real estate transfer tax and we were able to add significant revenue that way. he think i'm the only candidate here who has been talking extensively about a commercial tax rent. commercial property owners in
the state of california have been on a tax holiday since prop 13 and under the reagan and bush eras. and we could use that revenue to fund our public schools and restore jtor city college. >> thank you, miss selby. >> two of the things that are being done this november and i would love for to you vote for both of them, 30 and 38. those are two measures that would raise money for education and money in education is in dire straits. it's okay to vote for both. i also do support gross receipts. and i'm a small business person, and i wanted to let you all know that i have done sort of looked what i pay now $9,000. i have seven employees and i pay $9,000 a year and i will pay $750. so for small businesses the gross receipts actually does help and does not put the burden on the little
guy and it is progressive and so it does become progressively as you make more money. many one concern with small businesses there are businesses out there that have a lot of gross receipts, but they have no profit. and this is something that the only thing that concerns about those two things. finally i would be okay with reinstating the vehicle license fee at the levels it was before. >> thank you. candidate john rizzo, who could not join us tonight said in response to the survey that his "top policy objective was better management of the city." if the city's growing liabilities outpace revenue, what poorly managed programs could be reformed or eliminated to help balance the city's budget. we would like to hear answers from mr. johnson, miss davis and miss olague. >> i will give you two examples of where he i would start to look. one we had with regard to the
mta a major problem with work orders and waste and inefficiencies and we see other agencies basically cannibalizing muni. muni buss are being fixed with plastic bags and duct-tape. that kind of waste and inefficiency should be cut out of the system immediately. we need to look at our upper management fee schedules, including the highest paid police chief and some of the highest paid top brass at the police department. so i would start to look at our master fee schedules at the upper management levels where we can save some money. >> thank you. miss johnson? >> i agree with that, the sfmta is one of the areas where we found the department whose
money was going places that nobody was looking for. that is what i'm trying to talk about. and you can throw more money at it, but a lot of people who have been there have been there a long time running our state. and this is the result of where it's gone. if you are just throwing good money after bad. so you need to address the issues of where is the money going? and why are they not -- twitter got a tax break, a payroll tax break, but it was a lot more than that the public didn't hear about. we pay for a muni bus that is dedicated directly and only to where interstate twitter is located. they can afford to pay for a muni bus. they are also getting a police station, their own police substation.
>> thank you, miss olague. >> it's easy to talk about the waste in upper management, but i think what we need is the political will to challenge that waste. and i think we have to look at it through the budget process. so i think it's very important during the budget process -- i wasn't on the budget committee this last year, but i do hope to sit on the budget committee in the next year. and i think that we need to make some of the hard political decisions and that is why i think a lot of waste does continue on the upper level because no one is willing to really take a hard look and make those very difficult decisions. i think that sometimes when you look at programs, i think some of the information that hope johnson mentioned about the sunshine task force, there are a lot of task forces that come up with these studies that indicate with all of this waste is.
i think we need to take the task forces more seriously and scrutinize these studies and start to make those calls and we can do it next year during the budget process. >> thank you very much. the next question is for mr. everett, miss olague and miss selby. fiscal analysts say pension and health care costs for city workers are likely to raise considerably in the years ahead. the issue position survey asked whether police and firefighters, whose pension benefits are greater than other city workers should have to wor nearly all the candidates running for district 5 supervisor said yes. what other steps should the city take to make pension and health care benefits for city workers more sustainable? mr. everett, miss olague and miss selby? >> i have been engaged on this issue as a community service, i host a radio and tv program called "folk law for ordinary
folk," it's a very tough one in the sense that workers at some point are essentially giving up higher salary and higher pay in exchange for those pension benefits. so to come back later on and essentially cut that out from under them, the question is one of fairness and of equity. that being said, as far as police and firefighters, obviously those are public safety areas and it's a little bit different in the sense that we definitely need to protect those pensions in a different manner than we do others. as far as other ways to save, i would certainly look at capping pensions moving forward, so that they don't increase incrementally over time. i think we need to put a cap on that now before it starts to burgeon and get out of control. >> thank you. >> miss olague.
>> i believe i was one of the individuals who answered no. i don't think we should balance the budget on the back of the workforce, and there was prop c. prop b was the adachi measure and proper c was a lot of pension reform where the unions and the workforce came forward and they made a lot of sacrifices. so i think when we start to talk about this issue, we really need to take into consideration that we're talking about the police force. that we're talking about the firefighters. these are all public safety issues. and this past year we have had to deal with a lot of the fact that we don't have enough police officers currently in place. and that is why we're trying to fund a lot of these police
academy courses to start to fill that gap. but i think there are other ways to balance the budget and i don't believe it's on the back of the workforce. >> thank you. miss selby. >> yes, i think that proposition c was a great start. and what i really liked about proposition c and this is very much who i am. i look at ted over here when we talked about lake albert and that they got everybody together at the table. so it was not a matter of the haves and have nots. it was not a matter of one union making the decision and the others not being at the table. it was a matter of everybody at the table together and saying we're in trouble and we do have difficulties. i know personally from health insurance, it goes up 15-25% a year for my company. 15-25% a year. my great hope is that we get to single-payer, because i believe that is what is going to save us is single-payer. but in the meantime, i think we
need to continue to be at the table talk and talking and frankly, the unions if you do things fairly and equitably, if they have to take another cut and step up to the plate, i think they would do so. >> miss johnson, you would like to speak to this as well? >> yes, i just wanted to add one thing and that is one of the main problems -- one the big problems with the pensions is that when they invest their money, the savings, they have an unrealistically high return rate. it's like 7.5%. which in the private sector we know that that is not realistic. a lot of people that are around my age in their 40s lost a lot of what they had saved. so i agree with supervisor olague that we can't necessarily balance this on the backs of the workers, but they have to come to reality, because we fund -- when that pension fund loses money, because of that unrealistically high number, the taxpayers have to fill in the difference. so
they need to use a real number and that has to be really, truly negotiated on a reality of what we know in the private sector. >> thank you. together some concerns about fiscal policy and housing policy. the so-called sharing economy has resulted in an internet-based market for short term rentals where owners or tenants lease to visitors and tourists. many rentals are currently illegal and the city's hotel tax is not collected. should the city legalize some or all of these rentals and collect the hotel tax? we would like to hear answers from miss breed, miss johnson and mr. resignato. >> i definitely think this is a matter that the city should be looking into to collect that revenue. hotel tax revenue is extremely important especially in the arts. i run the african-american art
and culture complex, a 34,000 square foot art space and we receive hotel tax revenue. the money we receive is not necessarily always enough in order to sustain the facility, which is why fundraising for that entity is so important. i think the abuses that we see here with some of these property owners should be definitely explored. but i also think that abuses around places like the filmore center, which is increasing rates for the current residents by 25-40% is just completely outrageous, because they are actually pushing people out in order to get high turnover in the filmore center and they made promises to the community and they are definitely not living up to those promises. so we have to look at abuses from all sides . thank you, miss johnson. >> it's kind of an odd
question for me, because i don't like the idea of doing this in certain areas. i live in a building where we have about, i don't know, 30 units. and i don't like the idea that somebody down the hall from me could just have random people coming in. and staying there. i mean, if they want to take a chance that maybe if it's only two units and the other people agree, but i'm not supportive of this, even if it brought in revenue. i think it's not a good idea. if there is revenue around -- if it is going to be allowed, then i think they should collect the revenue on it. but i am not sure it's worth it and i think it would pose more of a problem. we already have a shortfall in our policing, and in safety, and i just don't think it's a good idea. >> yes, i mean, i come on both sides. it's nice to be able to open your city up to people from
other places, and have them have a living experience here, which i think is different than staying in a hotel. but i worry about rent control, and the abuses that this is going to have. we're already talking about not enough affordable housing and a lot of us have talked about expanding represent control and this could be abused by people that own apartments and also really cut down on the amount of rent control units that are out there. so i worry about this institutionalizing this practice. that is about it. >> miss olague? >> i think there are ways that this could be workable. i know that there is one of company, air b & b that i believe a lot of people are registering with them in order to make some of the rooms in their homes available to tourists and others who may not want to visit san francisco and
want an alternative experience. so they don't want to stay [tph-eult/]on, but want to stay in the haight, in someone's home that might not be used or they don't plan to rent it out. i know some retirees and others who are actually renting their place out for people visiting from foreign countries and it can be a win-win situation. i know david chiu is working on legislationing to regulate it. there needs to be regulation and safeguards and also definitely capturing some of this tax, but i think it's not a bad idea and if we are able to dedicate some of the funding to housing counseling, that is an area that is always running out of money. housing rights and others, and i think there could be a nexus made between the two. so i actually support it. i think it's workable. >> thank you. the next question as a transition to your remarks miss olague, under this plan if a
plaintiff housing organization wins its case in court the defendant would have to play the plaintiff's attorney fees and monetary fees would be given to the plaintiff housing organization rather than to the city's general fund. mr. davis, miss olague and miss selby, please explain why you would support or oppose authorizing non-profit housing organizations to enforce restrictions on short-term rentals, which at present, on my understanding can only be enforced by the city attorney. >> i would support it. i think we see a lot of local regulations that we don't get with our limited resources to enforcing, and in cases like this, where there are violations occurring, and where folks can open the courthouse door under this proposal, that wouldn't otherwise be able to do that and achieve justice through those means as well. potentially fund a very important service as non-profit
housing providers. i think it's a great idea. i would support it. >> thank you. miss olague. >> i think it's a great idea also. i would support it. i think most people, when they have issues around rental and other housing complaints, there are certain agencies that they automatically go to. there aren't many contrary to popular belief. it's usually the eviction defense network and housing rights committees. these are the people on the front line and they know the laws and they understand these issues that are related to rent control laws and this type of thing. so it makes sense. and it would also help, i think, fund their operations and i think there is a need for housing counseling in a city where the rents are so high and the abuses are still present. so i think it's a great situation. i think it's a win-win. >> miss selby. >> i think i didn't understand the question in the first place, because when i answered it i was