Concerns about next year’s budget prompt Avalos for mayoral decision

In a motion at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor John Avalos called for nominations for a new mayor to be heard and accepted, citing a projected budget deficit.

“I’m concerned about the transition,” said Avalos, chair of the board’s budget committee. “I think it’s imporant to get a head start on next year’s deficit and start a collaborative process to close that deficit.”

Last week, Mayor Gavin Newsom was elected to as lieutenant governor with one year left in his term. On Jan. 3, he is expected to assume his new office. The motion is co-sponsored by David Chiu and David Campos.

Under the city’s charter, the board’s president immediately becomes acting mayor until the 11-member board appoints a successor with six votes. That would be Chiu, but not until Newsom vacates his office.

According to a memo from the board’s clerk from Santa Clara County’s counsel, no specific succession process or timeline is dictated. City Attorney Dennis Herrera recused his office from issuing an opinion because of Herrera’s impending mayoral campaign, said Jack Song, a spokesman for the office.

Who would decide on the mayor following Chiu — or when — is open to question because four board members will be termed out. If the board doesn’t decide by then, that task may fall to their successors when they take over on Jan. 8. Chris Daly, Michela Alioto-Pier, Sophie Maxwell and Bevan Dufty are also scheduled to leave office.