Could Ting Assembly win mean new gig for Carmen Chu?

Carmen ChuSan Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting’s election to the state Assembly on Tuesday has set up a potential chain reaction of other changes in local politics, including the possibility that the Sunset District’s Supervisor Carmen Chu will end up in Ting’s City Hall spot and the Sunset will get a new supervisor.

With Ting leaving to represent western San Francisco in Sacramento, it’s up to Mayor Ed Lee to appoint someone to take over Ting’s job. Chu, who has been the chair of the board’s Budget and Finance Committee, is the person most often mentioned by City Hall watchers as a natural choice for the position.

But there’s a catch. Or rather, several.

Most obvious is the question of who would then take over Chu’s District 4 seat on the Board of Supervisors. That’s not certain, but one possibility recently noted by the San Francisco Chronicle is Malcolm Yeung, who used to be one of the mayor’s policy advisers and now is at the Chinatown Community Development Center.

But the next catch, as The Examiner has reported, is that Ting will take the oath of his new office Dec. 3. Yet if Lee appoints Chu as assessor and then names a new District 4 supervisor at the same time, that supervisor would be able to run for only one additional full term in office.

The reason? The City Charter states that if an appointed supervisor serves more than two years before running for re-election, that supervisor gets a shot at only one further term. But if an appointee serves less than two years, they can seek an additional two full terms. In order for Lee to leave his chosen supervisor with the longest possible time in office, he would have to wait until at least Jan. 9.

The final catch is that if the mayor does send Chu to the Assessor’s Office and also waits until Jan. 9 to name a new supervisor, District 4 would have no supervisor on Jan. 8. And that’s the day the Board of Supervisors will choose its next president, meaning that District 4 would get no say in who leads the board.

No matter what course the mayor takes, the next few months will be interesting for District 4.

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