Despite an eleventh-hour letter (noted here in the Chron) from former Supervisors Quentin Kopp, Harry Britt, Tom Ammiano, Matt Gonzalez and Aaron Peskin that urged the current board not to elect their next president so soon, the Board did just that on Tuesday or at least, the Supervisors that didn't walk out did.
A motion not to vote was avoided 6 to 4 with Supervisors Jane Kim, Norman Yee, Eric Mar, and John Avalos supporting postponement, reports the Examiner. The complaints: David Chiu's involvement in the vote despite his imminent departure for his assembly seat in Sacramento and David Campos' absence due to a long-planned vacation. But Scott Wiener and Chiu said they needed to fill the vacancy before it occurred to ease the transition, and so they did.
After about 40 minutes of voting, the meeting (which started at 2 p.m. with voting beginning at 6:44 p.m.) ended in an 8-0 election of Katy Tang as Interim President of the Board of Supervisors. She was nominated by Mark Farrell. That's 8, not 10, because Eric Mar and John Avalos stormed out in a huff.
"Ten of us are going to work with the new president and to have one missing, it doesn't feel right. It's not collegial," The Examiner quotes Mar on his choice to walk out on the vote. He gave Chiu a piece of his mind before he did, telling him that this was "no way to leave the board," reports SF Weekly.
Tang will keep the seat warm until Jan. 8, at which time the board is required to vote for a president to serve a full two-year term. Tang hasn't said if she's interested in more than what is being described as this "caretaker" role, with the folks at 48 Hills looking to the tea leaves of Ed Lee's caretaker beginnings. (She had previously seemed totally uninterested in the job, but she now tells the Chron, "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.") If she doesn't run for the full term, it's a short tenure for Tang, who will assume the interim post on December 1st.
In February 2013, Tang was appointed to the District 4 seat by Mayor Lee to replace Carmen Chu, who became assessor-recorder, and she was just reelected, having run unopposed. Before holding her post as Supervisor, Tang worked as Chu's legislative aide, and before that, she worked in the mayor's budget office. "She’s solidly on Team Lee," San Francisco magazine wrote last year, "She considers herself a pro-business fiscal conservative, and she uses phrases like “trickle down” without self-consciousness."
So was Tang picked by the moderate wing just as an placeholder? Will the progressive bloc manage to elect one of their own possibly Jane Kim, or wild card London Breed come January? Board-watchers are all on the edge of their seats and the rest of us barely care.
Though a live feed was available, Twitter was clearly the place to see the real color commentary, with #prezageddon a popular hashtag among local wonks.