A Beyond Chron Exclusive: Source Says Mayor’s Proposed Voluntary Salary Cuts Never Happened

by Randy Shaw on May 4, 2004

Mayor Newsom won considerable praise for announcing on January 29 that he was taking a 15% pay cut and asking the same of 400 other high earners. The Mayor estimated that the voluntary cuts could save the city as much as $10 million dollars. But according to sources, the Controller’s office has yet to process any of the requested cuts, including the mayor’s.

A source who was among those requesting a 15% voluntary pay cut has informed Beyond Chron that they were informed by the Controller last week that the cuts have still not taken effect. The bureaucratic snafu means that the salary savings that the Mayor hoped would “be enough to
protect dental care for the poor or keep swimming pools from closing” have not been realized.

Beyond Chron investigated this story after wondering why neither the San Francisco Chronicle nor the San Francisco Examiner ever revealed just how many city officials had agreed to the voluntary cuts. Given that Newsom, Supervisor Fiona Ma, Assessor Mabel Teng, and Police Chief
Heather Fong all won public kudos for announcing they were taking the cuts, it is odd that our daily media never checked how much money was saved and whether the reductions actually occurred.

With three months having passed since Newsom’s announcement, the Controller’s inaction could have already cost the city as much as 25% of the projected annual savings, or $2.5 million.

We look forward to hearing from the Controller’s office on this issue. If our source was misinformed, we will correct the record. We also call on the Controller to announce how many city officials requested the cuts, so the public can know just how many poor people will keep dental care and the number of swimming pools that will stay open.

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