SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Although it’s been a harmonious year financially at San Francisco City Hall, the supervisors were surprised how much padding found its way into the budget for fancy chairs to furnish the Arts Commission’s new offices at the War Memorial building.

“The department is budgeted 48 office chairs at $919 per chair for a total of $44,112. Similar high quality supportive chairs were $250 to $400 less in,” said budget analyst Harvey Rose.

Ears perked up at the Board of Supervisors Budget Committee hearing as Rose got his teeth into the Arts Commission’s spending request for new furniture. Refrigerators, dishwashers and workstations could all be got online for much cheaper, he said.

“The department is budgeted 46 work stations at an average cost of $4,400. That’s $204,000 total. Similar high quality work stations from various vendors cost $1,500 to $2,500 less per workstation.”

The explanation put forward by the Arts Commission staff, that Staples chairs quickly fall apart, outright offended Supervisor Mark Farrell.

“I have a tough time accepting that because I have a Staples chair. I’ve had it for three years and it’s just fine,” Farrell said.

The budget committee pared down the request by half and put the rest of the funding in reserve.


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