This November, Proposition C will give San Francisco voters the opportunity to approve the creation of a new oversight commission for the city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. This body would join the more than 100 commissions, committees, councils and working groups — supplemented by a city services auditor, a budget and legislative analyst, a city attorney, a district attorney, an ethics commission and a civil grand jury — already tasked with overseeing the delivery of municipal services.
Under the watchful eye of this impressive edifice, San Francisco ought to have the cleanest, most efficient government in the world. Instead, over the last 20 years, multiple city officials have been indicted on federal corruption charges, the mayor’s annual budget has ballooned from $5 billion to $14 billion, and the government’s performance on several key metrics has only gotten worse or remained stagnant. According to one ranking, San Francisco is the second worst-run city in America.