SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – By most accounts, Occupy San Francisco was on the back burner for local leaders because of Tuesday’s election. With the votes counted and the winners declared, Mayor Ed Lee is turning his attention to matters impacting the city, including the demonstrators at Justin Herman Plaza.

Lee has said that he wants to avoid an ugly confrontation between demonstrators and police, so his strategy thus far has been to encourage occupiers to agree to a departure date.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

Merchants at the Ferry Building and Farmer’s Market, however, have demanded more police patrols to deal with criminal activity, allegedly by protesters. But, Lee said he wants to leave police out of the picture – if possible – and work directly with Occupy SF.

“I’m going to make our intentions and ourselves clear before we make a move,” he said.

Lee confirmed that he has spoken with Police Chief Greg Suhr and wants to talk to the demonstrators, next.

“We want everybody’s input before we decide on what we’re going to do,” he explained. “Part of that input is from the occupiers themselves.”

“I think everybody needs to know what direction we’re all heading in and there’s a limited capacity. There is more limiting tolerance by both the residents and businesses down in that neighborhood,” summed up Lee.

“I need to ask Occupy what their long-term intention is, if they have one.”

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Reports:

KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier reasoned that Lee would have sufficient time to address issues around town because there appeared to be very little fallout from Tuesday’s election, including the controversial rank choice voting system in San Francisco.

“I know that debate will go on,” he summed it up.

“But as San Francisco elections go, this one was actually pretty quiet in the end. We didn’t have any ballot boxes floating in the Bay, we haven’t had any charges of voter fraud, at least in the closing day, it’s pretty calm. The count went unusually well, it went pretty quick.”

Former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, who joined Matier in studio for the political chat Friday morning, had nothing but good things to say about Lee’s victory.

“I’m just celebrating for the city, I love the city so much that I think the right people are in charge of the city. And that’s why I’m celebrating,” he declared.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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