My philosophy: “Bringing people together is what gets things done.”
I have spent the last forty years of my life dedicated to raising a family in San Francisco, and bringing the people of this wonderful city together. Having worked as a public servant and professional entertainer for over thirty years, I know what powerful results can be achieved when the common good is served through the best intentions of all involved.
With the City and County of San Francisco, I have held executive and administrative positions in nine different city departments, continuously, over the last thirty years. This experience has provided me with detailed expertise within the internal processes of all three branches of government – executive, legislative, and judicial.
Music is also an important part of my life. As an entertainer and vocalist with my band, The Hallmarks, a mainstay of the San Francisco musical scene, we have received national and international acclaim as ambassadors of good will for our City.
How putting “People over Politics” has worked.
I am not a politician, but I have held elective office. This experience in public service has helped me acquire informed beliefs about how our elected leaders can effectively do the people’s work.
In 2000, I was elected by my community to serve as their Supervisor for the City and County of San Francisco. As a Supervisor, my philosophy of putting “people over politics” allowed me to play a leading role in each of the following shared successes:
-Spearheaded the reconstruction of the Ocean Avenue commercial district, to help our local economy and small businesses.
-Completed the restoration and renovation of the Harding Park Golf Course, resulting in the acquisition of annual PGA tournaments, which, in turn, have provided the City with millions in added revenue.
-Passed legislation for the re-build of Laguna Honda Home to improve care for the aged.
-Completed the renewal and reconstruction of the City’s Youth Guidance Center, to aid our city’s youth.
-Initiated and passed a ballot initiative which created a Public Utilities oversight committee, now saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
-Enabled significant budgetary savings by consolidating various city departments and eliminating over three-dozen wasteful task forces and commissions.
-Worked with various state and local agencies and private entities to solve the decades-old Lake Merced water loss/level problem. This team effort rescued a dying natural habitat while paving the way for one of the most expansive recreational settings of any city in the country.
-Led the restoration and beautification of San Francisco’s Great Highway and the adjoining Ocean Beach, to preserve one of San Francisco’s most cherished recreation areas.
-Initiated and passed numerous pieces of legislation relating to quality of life and civility laws
These shared accomplishments demonstrate why a solutions-oriented approach works. I believe that if we work hard to bring people together who want positive change, we can actually get something done for San Francisco. This desire to build bridges is also why I have been an independent, not registered with any political party.
San Francisco needs accountability and transparency in government
Of all my experiences in city government, none may have been as “awakening” as my appointment as Director to the Treasurer Island Development Authority in 2004.
Upon taking the position, I dedicated myself to improving the quality of life for the 4000 residents of the Island, and for implementing a feasible, sustainable economic development model that could potentially have brought millions of dollars in benefits to our entire city.
Unfortunately, after several months I was being asked by some with significant power and influence to shortcut processes and rubber stamp proposals I truly believed needed thorough vetting and public scrutiny if a positive development for that Island was to take place. My efforts at accountability and transparency were getting in the way of business as usual, and political appointees of the Mayor asked me to resign “without cause.”
This experience taught me how important honest leadership is to renewing our City. Until we have leadership that faces the real issues, Treasure Island will remain a Fantasy Island of political pipe dreams and false promises to the people of San Francisco.
Despite my experience at Treasure Island, I remain a true optimist and believer in the destiny of San Francisco. For the past four years, I have been assisting others in their efforts to bring forth good and honest government, as well as being involved with local and statewide issues. I have been a regular watchdog-columnist shining a light on what I believe to be the false promises of those who put politics ahead of the needs of the people.
In my thirty years in public service, the successes and setbacks have always taught the same lesson: that the right combination of transparent policies, accountable leadership and working together can truly make this a great city again. I will never cease my efforts to see that dream become a reality.