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San Francisco in addition election director after 20-year profession so metropolis can ‘take motion’ on ‘racial fairness plan’

The San Francisco Elections Fee has voted to not renew its election director’s contract regardless of his profitable 20-year file in order that the town may “take motion” on its “racial fairness plan.”

In a 4-2 vote by the Fee final week, metropolis officers determined to not renew a fifth five-year contract for John Arntz — who’s White — regardless of resounding approval of his tenure as election director – a transfer that prompted swift condemnation.

“We’re gravely involved that the Elections Fee is actively searching for to take away John Arntz from his employment because the Director of Elections,” Division Supervisor Mayank Patel mentioned in an e mail to the division, which included a letter signed by 11 different division managers detailing why they supported Arntz’s time period renewal.

The Department of Elections is seen as early voting continues for "Consolidated General Election" in City Hall of San Francisco, on Oct. 28, 2022.

The Division of Elections is seen as early voting continues for “Consolidated Common Election” in Metropolis Corridor of San Francisco, on Oct. 28, 2022. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Company by way of Getty Photographs)


“Below the management of Director Arntz, our Division efficiently performed over thirty public elections and rebuilt the general public’s confidence within the metropolis’s elections processes from the bottom up,” he added. ” All of us have labored with Director Arntz and we all know that below his skilled and confirmed management, we’ll proceed to offer metropolis voters with glorious service whereas fulfilling our mission of conducting free, truthful, and purposeful elections for a few years to return.”

Fee officers sought to guarantee Arntz that the choice to take away him from the highest job was not a evaluation of his tenure, however a choice that got here all the way down to the problem of racial equality.

“Our determination wasn’t about your efficiency, however after twenty years we wished to take motion on the Metropolis’s racial fairness plan and provides individuals a chance to compete for a management place,” the Fee’s president Chris Jerdonek wrote in an e mail to Arntz, in accordance with varied native information retailers. 

A voting sign is seen outside the San Francisco City Hall as early voting continues for "Consolidated General Election" on Oct. 28, 2022.

A voting signal is seen exterior the San Francisco Metropolis Corridor as early voting continues for “Consolidated Common Election” on Oct. 28, 2022. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Company by way of Getty Photographs)


Metropolis Legal professional David Chiu mentioned he was “mystified” by the fee’s determination and instructed that “some of us have forgotten the historical past of this division.”

“Earlier than Director Arntz, we had 5 administrators in as a few years, poll packing containers floating within the bay and an intense insecurity in metropolis elections,” he added. 

One other official, District 2 supervisor Catherine Stefani, took to Twitter this week and known as the choice “a dereliction of the Fee’s responsibility.”

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a briefing outside San Francisco City Hall on Dec. 1, 2021.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks throughout a briefing exterior San Francisco Metropolis Corridor on Dec. 1, 2021. (AP Photograph/Eric Risberg, File)


San Francisco Mayor London Breed additionally reportedly objected to the fee’s vote and mentioned, “John Arntz has served San Francisco with integrity, professionalism and has stayed fully impartial.”

“He’s remained neutral and has averted getting caught up within the net of Metropolis politics, which is what we’re seeing now on account of this pointless vote,” she added, as reported by Mission Native. “Fairly than engaged on key points to get better and rebuild our Metropolis, this can be a good instance of unfair politicization of a key a part of our authorities that’s working effectively for the voters of this metropolis.”

Arntz’s contract will probably be up in Could of subsequent 12 months, although he may select to reapply for the job.

Fox Information couldn’t instantly attain the fee for remark. 

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