San Francisco approves Department of Sanitation, DPW oversight

Votes are still being tabulated in San Francisco and it appears voters there have approved creating a new city department and are willing to spend more money to make the changes they say the city needs.

It's looking like San Francisco will have a new department in charge of making sure the streets are clean and the changes for the city don't stop there.

San Francisco voter turnout could well be north of 85% and while votes are still being tabulated, the results are starting to crystalize.

Voters in the city are approving Proposition B, which amends the city charter to pull apart the Department of Public Works and create a new Department of Sanitation and Streets, and commissions to oversee the two departments. It's a plan authored by Supervisor Matt Haney from the city's Tenderloin.

Political Science Professor Dr. Jason McDaniel from San Francisco State University says while San Franciscans made the move to get cleaner streets it may also weaken the mayor.

"I think it's a thing where people say 'Yes, we want cleaner streets.' It's an issue that people in San Francisco care about and let's do something about that," said McDaniel. "It's that kind of a message. Clearly a win for Matt Haney, but not necessarily a defeat for London Breed, except that her authority is going to be lessened with this."

Voters in San Francisco also on pace to approve $487 million in bonds to pay for housing for the homeless, parks and cleaner streets, and new taxes on high-dollar real estate transactions and on high-earning executives.

"There was some opposition," said McDaniel. "But, I think this is voters trusting their politicians a little bit, right. Especially when it comes to bonds and raising taxes."

The races for supervisor are still shaking out, as the ballots are counted. A decision whether the board maintains its progressive supermajority or adds allies for Mayor London Breed may still be days away.

"Absolutely, and I suspect it will be more than three or four days. It might be about a week or so," said McDaniel.

Finally in a bit of a contradiction San Franciscans voted in favor of California Proposition 18, the failed state wide amendment that would have allowed 17-year olds to vote in primaries if they turn 18 by the general election. But, those same voters appear to be rejecting city and county Proposition G, which would have allowed 16 and 17 year olds to vote. The results are very close on that one, and are still being tabulated.