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Vacant Leadership Positions Mean Uncertain Future For San Francisco Politics

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San Francisco City Hall

San Francisco City Hall. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco is looking for a few good leaders to fill a number of key roles in the city and county.

The unprecedented political leadership void got deeper last week when Sheriff Michael Hennessey announced that he plans to retire at the end of his term in November, following 31 years on the job.

San Francisco will now be looking for a permanent mayor, district attorney and sheriff during the next round of elections.

That doesn’t include the current search for a new chief of police, a position that was vacated after George Gascón took the job as district attorney.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

San Jose State Political Science Professor and KCBS Political Analyst Larry Gerston said he can’t remember a time when a big city like San Francisco was expecting such turnover at the top.

“Not only do we have uncertainty in terms of the characters, but there’s also uncertainty in terms of what the state is going to provide for all local governments, including the city and county of San Francisco,” he said.

Gerston said this does afford an opportunity for the Board of Supervisors to take a more active leadership role. But once all the positions are filled, there is still work to be done.

“They have to quickly get to know the personnel, they have to build bridges,” Gerston said. “All this has to be done in a very short timeframe.”

He said uncertainty probably doesn’t do justice to the political times in San Francisco right now.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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