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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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County

City and County of San Francisco
Measure L Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Failing

159,830 votes yes (44.95%)

195,775 votes no (55.05%)

Should the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco be amended to split the power to make appointments to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors between the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors, to lower the vote by which the Board of Supervisors may reject the SFMTA Budget from seven to six, and to make related changes implementing these amendments?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

If you vote “yes,” you want to amend the Charter to:

• allow the Mayor to nominate four members to the SFMTA Board of Directors; the Board of Supervisors could approve or reject these nominees;

• allow the Board of Supervisors to appoint three members;

• reduce from seven to six the number of votes needed for the Board of Supervisors to reject the SFMTA’s proposed budget; and

• require the SFMTA to respond to the Board’s findings and submit a revised budget if the original budget was rejected. 

NO vote means

f you vote “no,” you do not want to make these changes.

Summary

Ballot Simplification Committee

The Way It Is Now: The City’s Charter gives the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) authority over the City’s transportation system, which includes roads, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, parking, taxicabs and Muni (the City’s public transit system).

SFMTA is run by a seven-member Board of Directors. The Mayor appoints all seven directors. The Mayor’s appointments must be confirmed by the Board of Supervisors. Members serve four-year terms, and no person may serve more than three terms.

SFMTA submits a proposed budget to the Board of Supervisors. The Board may accept or reject, but not modify, the proposed budget. Rejection of the proposed budget requires seven votes; the typical number of votes required for the Board to act is six.

The Proposal: Proposition L is a Charter Amendment that would split the power to appoint SFMTA Directors between the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors. The Mayor would nominate four members to the Board of Directors, who could be approved or rejected by the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors would appoint three members. 

Proposition L would also reduce from seven to six votes needed for the Board of Supervisors to reject the SFMTA’s proposed budget. If the Board of Supervisors rejects the budget, the SFMTA would have to respond to the Board’s findings and submit a revised budget.

Financial effect

City Controller Ben Rosenfield

City Controller Ben Rosenfield has issued the following statement on the fiscal impact of Proposition L:

Should the proposed charter amendment be approved by the voters, in my opinion, it would have a minimal impact on the cost of government. 

The proposed amendment states that of the seven members of the Municipal Transportation Agency (MTA) Board of Directors, four would be nominated by the Mayor and three by the Board of Supervisors, all of which would be subject to confirmation by the Board of Supervisors. Currently, the Mayor appoints all seven members to the MTA Board.

Additionally, the proposed amendment allows the Board of Supervisors to reject but not modify the MTA’s budget by simple majority, rather than by seven of the eleven Supervisors, as per existing Charter language. Should the Board of Supervisors reject the budget it will make additional appropriations to the MTA sufficient to maintain all operations at the level provided as of June 30 of the prior fiscal year. The amendment does not otherwise change the budgetary or financial responsibilities or authority of the MTA Board. 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

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