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747Fwd: Nine mayors sign stop-state-raids letter -- but not ours

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  • Justin DeCastro
    Mar 21, 2010

      Nine mayors sign stop-state-raids letter -- but not ours

      One name was conspicuously absent from the list released Thursday of nine big city mayors supporting a proposed ballot measure that would "stop state raids" on local funds.

      Dellums, Newsom and Reed were all on the same page in 2007.

      Paul Chinn / The Chronicle

      Dellums, Newsom and Reed were all on the same page in 2007.

      You guessed it. Mayor Gavin Newsom, who for months has taken state leaders to task for tapping into funds designated for things like local transit to bail out state finances, didn't sign his name alongside the likes of Mayor Ron Dellums of Oakland, Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.

      Newsom in May warned Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger against raiding county funds, saying: "The cheapest excuse for leadership -- it is the cheapest excuse -- is stealing money from your neighbor to solve your own budget problems."

      Even on Thursday, Newsom said "enough is enough" on state raids on transit money. So why not sign the mayors' letter supporting the so-called Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act, the subject of a signature gathering effort to get it on the November ballot?

      "He certainly agrees with the spirit of that letter," Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said. "But as the mayor of a city and county, he has greater areas of responsibility that have to be paid attention to in terms of state budget decisions."

      In other words, Newsom is concerned the measure could wall off funds for cities to the detriment of county functions, like health care, foster care and other social services. As the mayor often points out, San Francisco is the state's only combined city and county.

      "We certainly stand with the mayors against what has been an abandonment of support for local priorities that we've seen from the state," Winnicker said. "In our case, we can't favor only city functions at a risk to services the county provides, which are also critical."

      Posted By: John Coté (Email) | March 18 2010 at 03:00 PM

      Listed Under: Mayor Gavin Newsom

      Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cityinsider/detail?entry_id=59421#ixzz0iqBK41xp