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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Government & Elections
SF "liberal" Demo Supervisor Jane Kim Trust Billionaire Ellison To Do The Right Thing
The "liberal" SF Demo supervisor Jane Kim said deal with billionaire Larry Ellison needs a "leap of faith". Kim thinks the billionaire will do the right thing for the people of San Francisco
SF "liberal" Demo Supervisor Jane Kim Trust Billionaire Larry Ellison To Do The Right Thing?
Supervisor Jane Kim comes around for America’s Cup deal
Supervisor Jane Kim said the deal was, in many ways, a "leap of faith." (Photo by AP)
What a difference a week makes at City Hall, especially with the pressure of a looming construction deadline for the America’s Cup.
Supervisor Jane Kim a week ago was calling for a new report to reanalyze the economic benefits of hosting the regatta amid concerns about attendance estimates and saying “at minimum” she wanted the final deal between the city and billionaire Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison’s regatta group to incorporate all of the Board of Supervisors budget analyst’s recommendations, designed to safeguard city finances.
But at a marathon session at the board’s Budget and Finance Committee Wednesday evening, Kim sided with moderate Supervisor Carmen Chu in casting the deciding vote to advance the proposal to the full board for a vote Tuesday, despite it including only some of boardbudget analyst Harvey Rose’s recommendations.
Kim also voted with Chu to reject a slew of amendments proposed by Supervisor John Avalos, a standard bearer for the progressive left, who wanted to keep working on the deal for several days before allowing a full board vote, which is needed for the regatta to happen.
Plenty of supervisors, including board President David Chiu, said the deal remains a work in progress even as it advances to the full board.
Kim noted she still has concerns about the deal, but after the hearing said she voted to advance it because progress had been made and she expected that to continue.
“In many ways, I think this (deal) is a leap of faith,” Kim said. “Everybody is putting their best foot forward.”
She pointed to a commitment by the America’s Cup Organizing Committee, a group of philanthropic and community leaders trying to raise $32 million in three years to help defray city costs, to have $12 million in the bank by June 30 even though the city’s costs at that point are projected to be $9.8 million.
A 66-year lease on Pier 29, part of the planned America's Cup spectator village that also includes adjacent Pier 27, was removed from the deal Wednesday.
“That was one step that was really important to me,” Kim said.
She also noted a provision added late in the evening that the city fee of 1 percent of the resale price of planned condominiums on a waterfront parcel at the foot of Bryant Street that Ellison’s group would get to develop will be earmarked for affordable housing on port property, pending state approval.
“Affordable housing in our district is a high priority for my office,” said Kim, whose district stretches along the waterfront from about the Ferry Building through Mission Bay.
“I wanted some good-faith steps,” she said.
Avalos, on the losing end of two-to-one votes all night, lamented the “tremendous pressure” to pass the deal.
“I don’t think that you should vote based on faith,” Avalos said. “You make votes based on, as much as you can, certainty. When you have a major event like this, we have to do everything that we can to protect the city financially.”
Lee’s spokeswoman, Christine Falvey, said the agreement is in the best interest of the city and that the time crunch was driven by construction needs and changes to the deal that the board requested.
Posted By: John Coté ( Email ) | Feb 23 at 5:13 pm