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Thursday, December 1, 2022

In Baffling Transfer, SF Elections Director With Impeccable File Gained’t Have Contract Renewed

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After 20 years of flawless and scandal-free efficiency, SF Division of Elections Director John Arntz, some of the efficient and hardest-working individuals in Metropolis Corridor, will not have his contract renewed due to a “racial fairness plan.”

When San Francisco Division of Elections director John Artz took over his job in 2002, the division was reeling from a sequence of embarrassing scandals, and had been by means of 5 administrators in simply seven years. Of their write-up of (I swear to god I’m not making this up) SF poll containers discovered floating within the San Francisco Bay, the Chronicle famous on the time that the division “has been tormented by a seemingly endless string of issues in recent times, starting from sluggish election returns and misprints within the official poll e-book to stacks of uncounted ballots being found days after the election.”

In Arntz’s 20 years on the job, there have been no scandals, malfeasances, or embarrassments. He even dealt with 4 elections in 2022 alone, with out a whiff of criticism of the division. (And no indictments! Which is greater than some departments can say.) But regardless of this, Mission Native reported Monday afternoon that Arntz wouldn’t have his contract renewed, because the SF Election Fee won’t renew him when his present time period runs out after this month’s election is licensed.  

Whereas some preliminary reporting said Arntz had been fired, this isn’t the case. Because the Chronicle explains, the SF Elections Fee “voted 4-2 final week to not renew director John Arntz’s five-year time period and as an alternative rent a search agency to think about him, if he needed to use, amongst a pool of different candidates.” So Artnz can apply once more, although that is for a job he has clearly been more practical at than any earlier director in many years.

The choice to not renew Arntz’s contract has drawn outrage and bafflement from all around the SF political spectrum. Mayor Breed mentioned in an announcement to the Chronicle that this was “unfair politicization of a key a part of our authorities that’s working effectively for the voters of this metropolis.” Her frequent adversary Supervisor Aaron Peskin advised Mission Native, “That is fee malfeasance,” and added, “That is demoralizing and humiliating to John and to the employees of the division.”

There was a quick controversy final 12 months over the town’s unique use of Trump conspiracy punching bag Dominion Voting Techniques. An Examiner report on the time raised questions that  “Dominion Voting Techniques has received greater than $20 million in metropolis contracts whereas Arntz’s division has turn into depending on the corporate to carry elections.” However as that report additionally famous, “No different firms bid on San Francisco’s final voting machine contract,” as a result of none of them may deal with our ranked-choice voting system.

The Chronicle quotes an e mail from the Elections Division to Arntz, saying “Our choice wasn’t about your efficiency, however after twenty years we needed to take motion on the Metropolis’s racial fairness plan and provides individuals a possibility to compete for a management place.”

Arntz is extremely revered at Metropolis Corridor, so this can be a commission-level fake pas that shall be reversed amidst media scrutiny, not not like the SF college board making an attempt to rename Roosevelt Center College after which admitting they didn’t know which President Roosevelt it was named after. In spite of everything, the Chron notes that the Elections Fee should ask for $30,000 to $50,000 for an govt search to search out alternative candidates, although Arntz can nonetheless apply for his present job. As Peskin advised Mission Native Monday, “I assure you that this Board and this mayor aren’t going to offer them a rattling penny.”

Associated: There Could possibly be 4 Elections for This Identical D-17 State Meeting Seat in 2022 [SFist]

Picture: @larrybobsf through Twitter

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