Wednesday, January 17, 2007
On The Job Learning
A ceremonial swearing in of new city commissioners took place this afternoon at San Francisco's City Hall.
The event, as usual, was held on the balcony in front of the Mayor's Office, and as usual the mayor was about fifteen minutes late.
There was an unusually large crowd of about 100 people for the affair, including Supervisors Dufty, Elsbernd and Mirkarimi.
The very odd Pat Murphy, who publishes the fairly demented San Francisco Sentinel on the internet, seems to have a man-crush on a new heterosexual Supervisor, Sean Elsbernd, now that he has had a violent break with Supervisor Chris Daly.
At one point, Mayor Newsom called Pat over so he could make sure that Murphy's portable tape recorder was on, so that it could capture the mayor's speech from the podium verbatim.
Gavin started off by congratulating the new commissioners for bodies ranging from the Taxi Commission to the Human Rights Commission. There has been quite a bit of controversy in the Board of Supervisors chamber recently over the Newsom administration's inability to fill empty comissioner seats, leaving incumbents "hanging" for years at a time on various commissions, either through inertia or out of political considerations.
With Board President Aaron Peskin at his side, Newsom didn't refer to the controversy, but did mention how unhappy he was about the board cutting the six-figure funds for imaginary new jobs that had been created for two loyal political hacks, Annemarie Conroy and Bill Lee.
Gavin then attempted a self-deprecating joke about having been appointed at age 26 to be the chair of the Parking and Traffic Commission by then-mayor Willie Brown, Jr. "I didn't even know that chair meant president, boy, did I have a lot of on-the-job learning to do." When there was dead silence, he dug himself in a little further. "I mean, we've been attempting to take our own appointments more seriously than that..."
Then he stumbled into, "Well, let's cut to the chase. Let's get you sworn in. You can either stand or sit, just put your hand up..."
It felt like he didn't even know half the people who had been appointed, let alone their names, and the ceremony was lacking any sense of dignity.
The Newsom Administration's youthful Karl Rove, Peter Ragone (above), didn't look amused by the performance. Wait until he catches a glimpse of Gavin's most Fervent Admirer Unleashed over at sfGate. (Click here to get to Beth Spotswood's brilliant debut post as a Paid Blogger.)