Getlin, Josh: Moscone deals with immediate crises


Josh Getlin


Getlin: [Moscone took] office and almost immediately there are two major crises facing the city that I think technically he is briefed on in depth before he even sits into his chair for the first time. Others can correct me on the chronology. One obviously is the waste water management, you know, controversy where that virtually every building permit the city is going to be yanked or shut down because we're in flagrant violation of federal clean water, wastewater emissions standards all over the city. And it turns out that the Department of Public Works has been failing miserably in its task to keep us in compliance and George is hit with this almost immediately. One of the first times I remember seeing a supervisor Dianne Feinstein in the office. Then if I can tell one story, it was the one and only time I think I heard Dianne Feinstein betray her Jewish roots at in a public conversation. Because she'd asked George, I believe, like, “Well who's in charge, who's been doing the point work for the city on this?” and he said, “I believe it’s Myron Tatarian”, and she said, “Oy Vey.” That was before any of us really had much knowledge of Myron Tatarian, who probably deserves his own massive of political biography. It was quite an upsetting thing because it necessitated immediate action. This was no joke, I mean, the fact that George was a new mayor meant almost nothing because this was a serious environmental problem. The city had to rally resources and show good faith instantly in a way that had not before, and it did. But that was a major thing for George to get over before he even really got accustomed to sitting behind his desk. And the other, of course, was the threatened departure of the San Francisco Giants from San Francisco, which also him right between the eyes. Immediately upon taking physical possession of his office and the whole story of trying to persuade the owners and, you know, and not to move to Toronto and to get new owners on board and all that, and that story's been well told. That should just give you an example of at a time when a mayor is just attempting to sort of settle in is and get some semblance of a grace period, he had none. He had none. He had twin crises from day one, from minute one.


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The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, University of the Pacific Library

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