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KCBS In Depth: San Francisco Issues With Mayor Ed Lee

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Interim San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee

Interim San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. (SF Gov)

KCBS In Depth
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Will he, or won’t he run? That has been the main question facing San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee over the last month or so.

“I’m going to make that decision this weekend. I want to have conversations with my family and talk about what this all means,” said Lee. “I’ve been working hard and the stress levels have been up for the six months. But with the results, it’s been worth it.”

KCBS Interview with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee:

Mayor Lee said sees the city improving in many different facets, but some of those improvements are coming slower than he would like. One of his main concerns remains public safety in San Francisco.

“Having selected Chief Suhr, we talk every week and assess all the numbers. The homicide numbers are as low as last year,” said Lee. “They haven’t dramatically increased. I don’t sleep every night there is a shooting.”

Lee also said there is plenty of work left in handling the city’s financial situation.

“There is no immediate solution to all of this. We’re all suffering from a lot of economic challenges these days and the revenues aren’t there as they would have been some years ago,” he said. “Therefore, the half cent sales tax is quite modest. It’s aimed at getting us to a level of reserves to prepare for more hurts because I just don’t see nay positive things coming from the state or federal government that is going to help us.”

In terms of the economy, Mayor Lee said that he wants to continue working on keeping families and residents in San Francisco. He thinks providing more affordable housing for the middle class and better schools for children are important pieces to that puzzle. He also said he understands the importance of not only creating new jobs, but keeping companies in San Francisco.

“The jobs that we’re creating are ones that we could have lost. An example is when we acted fast when it came to Twitter and their suggestion that they might move to South San Francisco,” said Lee. “When we did our side and passed the payroll tax exemption for six years on mid-Market, (Twitter) in response signed a long term lease. They’re going to invest $15 million of their own money making it (the move to mid-Market) work.”

Lee said the news of Twitter’s move to mid-Market has spurred conversations with several other tech companies and other companies that have been headquartered in San Francisco for years.

Although the payroll tax exemption is expected to be a boon for big businesses in San Francisco, Mayor Lee said he is also concerned about small, local businesses being viable in the city by looking at the expensive permitting process that currently exists.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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