Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Welcome to Bay Area Politics

by BH

It was recently announced that the 2006 san Francisco Grand Prix, a bike race that brought millions of dollars to the Bay Area and would have included Lance Armstrong, will not take place next year. The announcement followed the discovery that race organizers had not paid the city for all of the costs of the 2004 and 2005 races. Story parts are bolded.


"This is one of the worst-looking bunglings in local government that I've seen in five years," Daly said. "I would say this is a scandal and a pretty significant one. I would hope nothing has happened in terms of collusion but I'm not so sure."

What Daly is saying, is that he thinks there probably is collusion, and he sees this issue having the potential to get him a lot of publicity. Sounding sure that it's a scandal, but hoping it's not collusion is an absurd contradiction. He's right about one thing though. The race not being put on in 2006 is one of the worst-looking bunglings in local government.

A city ordinance passed in 2002 made it illegal to give companies event permits if they owe the city money.

Good policy.

Officials overseeing the city's events permit process said they were not told by the San Francisco Police Department that race organizers still owed money when permission was granted to hold the race over the Labor Day weekend.

According to police Capt. Greg Corrales, San Francisco Cycling routinely paid its bills months late after receiving invoices from the city.

Officials overseeing the city's events permit process apparently assumed the outstanding bills would eventually be paid and issued a permit to San Francisco Cycling for the 2005 race, which drew more than 100,000 people to the city's northern neighborhoods Sept. 4.

Okay, let's take two of the last three paragraphs and compare them. Officials said they were not told that race organizers still owed money, but at the same time, assumed outstanding bills would eventually be paid. That does sound a little fishy, but let's move on. The fun is sure to continue.

According to a report by the Board of Supervisors Budget Analyst Harvey Rose, the cost of the race to the city over the past five years amounts to more than $2.3 million. A study commissioned by the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau found that this year's race generated $10.2 million in economic activity, a figure challenged last week by supervisors.

At this point, do we really expect the supervisors to agree with any part of this issue that will allow voters to calm down a little? The race cost $2.3 million, but made $10.2 million. I wonder how many times supervisors have agreed with and used figures from the Convention and Visitors Bureau in the past. Now, we know that the $10.3 mill didn't go directly back to the police and other civic groups that put on the race, but it did make way more money than it cost to put on and brought a lot of people, who spent a lot of money, to the city.

Daly and Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin bristled Monday in response to comments from Mayor Gavin Newsom's spokesman, Peter Ragone, who told the Chronicle on Sunday that the race was "being flushed down the toilet so some politicians can make a political point."

"We literally bent over backward to try to make the thing go," Peskin said, noting strong political support at City Hall in previous years for the race.

Oh man. Anything you had said prior to that last statement diminished your already shaky argument. Seriously, when are seemingly educated individuals going to stop saying or writing things like this. I may be wrong, but I don't see Aaron Peskin or Chris Daly bending over backward to put this event on, nor do I understand how thins would really help "make the thing go" anyway. And when he says "we," does he mean the entire city? His office?

Daly accused Newsom's office of being so eager to promote the race that it agreed to a deal with event organizers that was detrimental to the city.

Was it? Don't forget the $10.3 million as well as the positive publicity for putting on an increasingly popular and world-class event. How Dare Gavin Newsom.

"This is not OK," he said. "We are not a government here where just because Gavin Newsom is so popular you can do whatever you want. There are laws that apply to you and your administration. And you either follow them or you pay the price for violating the law."

I'm confused. First, Daly said he hoped there wasn't anything illegal going on but now sounds sure that Newsom's office is involed in a shady deal. Daly's making accusations here.

The committee approved legislation on Monday that would bar any company that obtains an event permit while owing money to the city from securing a future permit for five years.

Talk about your knee-jerk reactions. Isn't there already an ordinacne in place that says an organization that owes the city money can't obtain a permit? So if I've got this straight, in the future, the group to whom the city won't give a permit, will be severly punished for getting a permit they weren't supposed to be allowed to obtain one in the first place. Sounds like a plan.

Thanks you Chris Daly. You're making the world a better place for all of us.

1 comment:

SonDog said...

You gotta love the city of San Francisco. Way to go there, jerk-offs.