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Even SF Democrats Are Disturbed by the City's Elections Commission's Latest Hiring Decision

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

The San Francisco Elections Commission voted last week to consider a new pool of candidates to fill its director position, rather than renewing the current head’s contract for another five years, despite having an "impeccable record."

Director John Arntz has been in the position since 2002, but in an effort to advance its “racial equity plan,” the commission will hire a search firm to explore other options. 

“Our decision wasn’t about your performance, but after twenty years we wanted to take action on the City’s racial equity plan and give people an opportunity to compete for a leadership position,” Commission President Chris Jerdonek told Arntz in an email Monday, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. “We also wanted to allow enough time for a fair and equitable process and conduct as broad a search as possible.”

 San Francisco Mayor London Breed, officials in the Department of Elections, and others were disturbed by the decision. 

“Over the last year John successfully ran four elections, while navigating a pandemic that thwarted San Francisco into crisis response — all without a single issue,” Breed said, reports Mission Local. “Rather than working on key issues to recover and rebuild our City, this is a good example of unfair politicization of a key part of our government that is working well for the voters of this city.”

Supervisor Catherine Stefani, meanwhile, said the decision to dismiss Arntz after decades of service is "a dereliction of the Commission's duty."

According to reports, Arntz can apply for the position if he wishes to be considered. 

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