Supervisor Scott Wiener narrowly beat out Supervisor Jane Kim in his effort to become District 11's next state Senator. As he will be vacating his current role of San Francisco District 8 supervisor, it falls on Mayor Ed Lee to appoint a replacement to fill Wiener's shoes. In an effort to ensure that his appointee can serve the maximum amount of time possible, the Examiner reports that Lee may end up taking his sweet time to fill the role.
With Wiener's seat officially vacant as of Monday, this would leave the district without representation until at least early January.
It comes down to this: Under city rules, anyone appointed after January 8 could serve up to ten years in office. That would break down as the remaining two years of Wiener's term plus two additional terms assuming he or she won reelection in 2018 and 2022. In many ways, this path would echo the one taken by Mayor Lee himself — he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to take over from Mayor Gavin Newsom after promising not to run for election when his term ended. He of course broke that promise, and is in the process of serving his second term.
That this would leave Wiener's district without representation for just over a month doesn't appear to bother the outgoing Supervisor, who said he's fine with the Mayor's tactic. "The new supervisor needs to be someone who can work effectively with the residents of our district as well as be a citywide leader on key policy issues," he wrote to the Ex. "I support the appointment occurring on January 8."
With ten-year stakes, many are wondering what potential appointee has the Mayor's eye. There is some speculation that Lee may look toward City College Board Trustee Alex Randolph, someone who Beyond Chron speculates "will never cast a vote or say something publicly that will embarrass the mayor... and given Lee’s past experience, this factor alone will weigh heavily on his decision."
If Lee hasn't made up his mind by January he can continue to wait pretty much as long as he wants. As Proposition D failed to pass in November, Lee doesn't have a ticking clock on the appointment window. Wiener's former D8 seat could remain empty for some time, in other words. That's unlikely, however, as Wiener was a moderate and frequently voted to back Lee's agenda — an attribute the Mayor no doubt wants to see in the D8 seat again as soon as possible.
What does the mayor have to say about this? He'll name an appointment when he's good and ready, basically. “The mayor is doing his due diligence to find the best candidate to represent District 8 and The City,” mayoral spokesperson Deirdre Hussey told the Examiner. “The mayor will make his decision when he feels he has identified the appropriate candidate.”