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Smart Voter
San Francisco County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Proposition F
Health Service Board Elections
County of San Francisco

Charter Amendment - 55% Approval Required

Fail: 130415 / 53.32% Yes votes ...... 114178 / 46.68% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Arguments |

Shall the number of Health Service Board elections be reduced to two elections every five years instead of four elections?

Summary Prepared by The Ballot Simplification Committee:
The Way It Is Now: The City's Health Service Board oversees the Health Service System, which offers medical and dental benefits to officers, employees and retirees of the City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco Community College District and San Francisco Unified School District.

The Health Service Board has seven members:

  • Four members are elected by officers, employees, and retirees who are members of the Health Service System;
  • Two members are appointed by the Mayor; and
  • One member of the Board of Supervisors, who is appointed by the President of the Board of Supervisors.

Each elected Health Service Board member serves a five-year term. The terms of the four elected Board members are staggered so that each member is elected at a separate election. The Health Service Board conducts these elections by mail four out of every five years.

The Proposal: Proposition F would amend the Charter to reduce the number of Health Service Board elections by shifting terms so that two members would be elected at the same time. Beginning in 2014, two elections would be held every five years, instead of four elections.

To accomplish this shift, the term that begins in 2011 would be shortened to three years and would expire in 2014. The term that begins in 2013 would be shortened to two years and would expire in 2015. All future terms would remain five years.

Fiscal Impact from The Controller of San Francisco:
City Controller Ben Rosenfield has issued the following statement on the fiscal impact of Proposition F:

Should the proposed Charter amendment be approved by the voters, in my opinion, it will reduce the cost of government by an estimated $30,000 annually by consolidating the elections for members of the Health Service Board.

Currently, four of the seven members of the Health Service Board, which oversees the City's Health Service System's administration of health benefit plans for employees, are elected to five year terms with staggered expirations. The proposed amendment would shorten the terms of two members on a one-time basis such that terms will expire, and new members can be elected going forward, in pairs. This change will save the Health Service System the cost of two elections over the five year period, approximately $150,000 in total or $30,000 on an annual basis.

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Arguments For Proposition F Arguments Against Proposition F
Prop F consolidates Health Service Board elections, saving the City money and making the Health Service Board election process more efficient.

Prop F Will Save the City Money

Four out of the seven Health Service Board members are elected for five-year terms by active and retired City employees. Currently, terms are staggered over a five-year period with one Health Service Board member being elected in each election.

Prop F will consolidate the election of Health Service Board members, so that active and retired City employees fill two Health Service Board seats in one election. Prop F will save the City approximately $150,000 over a five-year period, or $30,000 each year.

Prop F Will Make the Election Process More Efficient

Prop F will not only save the City money, but it will ensure efficiency in the election process and expertise on the Board. The Health Service System spends $75,000 to conduct the election of a single member when they could spend approximately the same amount to elect two members.

The Board of Supervisors, Board of Education and Community College Board each elect multiple members in a single election. The consolidated election schedule saves the City money by reducing the number of elections, while ensuring competency and expertise on the respective boards. The Health Service Board should follow this best practice by electing multiple members in a single election.

Please Join Me and Vote Yes on Prop F

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd

Rebuttal to Arguments For

Prop F alters our City Charter based on the unfounded theory that it will produce efficiencies and savings in the Health Service System.


Prop F's sponsor hasn't even reported the costs of placing Prop F on this complex and overcrowded ballot. This expense, along with others mandated by Prop F offer insignificant savings that won't even show up until 2016!


The duties and responsibilities of the Health Service Board are outlined in our City Charter. These elections must remain free from political influence and pressure from healthcare and insurance executives, lawyers and lobbyists. There's not ONE word in Proposition F about how these elections would be conducted + or about the added costs of a new election structure.


The Health Service Board must have knowledge and experience. Moreover, they need political independence and integrity to withstand pressure from health care industry lobbyists, consultants and political appointees.

Join elected Health Service Board members, United Educators of San Francisco, San Francisco Labor Council and the San Francisco Democratic Party by rejecting this scheme designed to weaken member representation on the Health Service Board.

VOTE NO ON PROP F + it's a phony! Protect Our Benefits Committee

VOTE NO ON F + It's Foolish!

Proposition F is a cynical attempt to politicize San Francisco's Health Service Board.

Proposition F is uncalled for and ill conceived.

Proposition F masquerades as a simple, money saving measure, but actually is intended to deprive Health Service members of experienced, consistent representation and leadership on an important board mandated by our City Charter. The members of the Health Service Board have a unique responsibility to Health Service members. In today's complex, rapidly changing health care environment, our public service employees and retirees deserve a board that has their medical care as its only interest.

Proposition F unnecessarily tampers with our City Charter + our City's constitution. Changing the Health Service System Board election process, allegedly to obtain insignificant savings that would not even begin until 2016! It doesn't make sense, especially when it's done by putting yet another costly measure on the ballot.

Proposition F is yet another in a series of attempts to marginalize the department - attempts that have resulted in consistently inadequate staffing and budget. Health service members worked hard to pass Proposition C in 2004 in order to establish a more independent department and a stronger voice for members, rather than for the health insurance industry and its allies.

Proposition F is an attempt to again inject politics into the Health Service System, to undo the reforms of 2004 and to undermine the will of the voters, all in the name of insignificant savings years from now.

VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION F + it's foolish.

Larry Barsetti, Vice President Protect Our Benefits Committee

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Vote Yes on Prop F

Prop F is a Common-Sense Cost-Cutting Measure

Prop F is a simple, cost-saving measure. It will not deprive the Health Service Board of experienced members, but rather ensure those experienced members are elected in an efficient and practical manner.

Prop F will consolidate the election of Health Service Board members, so that two Health Service Board seats are filled in a single election. This commonsense consolidation will save the City $30,000 each year without costing the Health Service Board experience or expertise.

Prop F is for Efficient Elections

The Board of Supervisors, Board of Education and Community College Board each elect multiple members in a single election. Reducing the number of elections through consolidation has not reduced the number of experienced members on those boards. The Health Service Board should follow this best practice and elect multiple members in a single election.

Prop F is a One-Time Change with Long-Term Cost-Savings. It Makes Sense.

Please Join Me and Vote Yes on Prop F

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd

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