SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The 11 candidates vying to be the next mayor of San Francisco all sounded remarkably similar Monday as they fielded questions about transportation, jobs, homelessness, even public nudity.

Watch SF Mayoral Debate: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

At times the staid exchange at the City Club of San Francisco tended to sound more like an economic forum than a political debate.

“We need to show a substantive partnership with small business, dramatically expanding the small business revolving loan fund,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

State Senator Leland Yee said he would “take a proactive role in trying to help small business.”

Mayor Ed Lee said his most important priority was to “create jobs and grow our economy.”

Supervisor David Chiu called the economy “the fundamental question of this debate and my top priority.”

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Even solutions to the city’s perennial problems, parking and public transportation, offered little room for disagreement at the forum sponsored by KCBS Radio,  CBS 5 TV and the San Francisco Chronicle.

When a viewer asked what could be done to make it easier, and safer, to hail a taxi in the city, former Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier underscored the need for improvements at taxi companies who are the primary means of paratransit for the disabled.

Venture capitalist Joanna Rees took aim at the sky high price of a parking ticket. “Punitive fees and fines is now way to generate revenue to serve the people in this community.”

Her opponents said they would look for ways to roll back unnecessary fees too.

Everyone saw room for improvement on Muni.  Supervisor John Avalos advocated free Muni rides for youth. Supervisor Bevan Dufty said his goal was to make Muni great.

Questions about the wisdom and cost of building the Central Subway underneath Chinatown divided Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, and former Supervisor Tony Hall.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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