Good Government

Our goal: Support local government.

SPUR's good government agenda:

• Put safety first.
• Invest in infrastructure.
• Support a strong civil service system.
• Get better at contracting.
• Experiment with labor-management partnerships and demonstration projects.
• Deliver services at the neighborhood scale.
• Make public data easier to access.

Read more from SPUR’s Agenda for Change
  • The SPUR Voter Guide

    The SPUR Voter Guide is the best resource for San Franciscans who want to understand the issues they will face in the voting booth. We focus on outcomes, not ideology, providing objective analysis on which measures will deliver real solutions.

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  • Good Government Awards

    The Good Government Awards honor outstanding managers working for the City and County of San Francisco, recognizing them for their leadership, vision and ability to make a difference in city government and in the community.

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  • SPUR Report

    A Big Fix for Capital Planning

    San Francisco’s aging public facilities harm the economy, limit they city’s ability to function and endanger public safety. SPUR proposes policy reforms for a more effective capital planning and maintenance process.

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  • SPUR Report

    Reforming Civil Service

    San Francisco’s employees and managers work within a system that often fails to take full advantage of their abilities or reward their contributions. The city can strengthen delivery of public services by restructuring practices for hiring, promotion, motivation and training.

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  • SPUR Report

    Fixing San Francisco’s Contracting Process

    San Francisco's ontracting process is often time-consuming, inefficient and unpredictable. How can the city minimize waste and inefficiency while maintaining strong safeguards against favoritism and corruption?

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  • SPUR Report

    Setting Aside Differences

    Ballot measures that dedicate city revenues to specific purposes have become increasingly common in San Francisco. But these “set asides” can damage the democratic system and lock in choices long after they continue to make sense. Here's how to improve these measures by evaluating them before they become law.

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  • The Urbanist

    Taxing Waste, Not Work

    Environmental tax reform decreases taxes on labor or income while increasing taxes on waste and pollution. For San Francisco, a shift away from the payroll tax toward taxes on energy, solid waste or transportation could increase economic activity while reducing environmental harm.

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  • Find more of SPUR's good government research

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Updates and Events

The Big Fix

SPUR Report January 3, 2005
San Francisco must face the problem of neglecting its capital investments as its physical foundation shows signs of deterioration.

November 2004 Voter Guide

Voter Guide November 1, 2004
Includes SPUR's analysis of 15 city measures on the November 2, 2004 ballot.

Planning Department Reform Agenda

SPUR Report March 1, 2004
Introduction San Francisco 's planning and building process is in trouble. Funding for the Planning Department and Department of Building Inspection has been cut. Staff morale is down. The Planning Commission is overwhelmed with fights around specific development proposals and does not have enough time to work on true long-range planning. As faith in the planning and permitting process has waned, the Board of Supervisors has increasingly taken on the role of de facto Planning Commission, calling hearings on virtually every major decision the Commission has made. After so many battles over planning issues, there is a growing cynicism about the ability of City government to ever actually work out compromises or satisfactory solutions. The Planning Department and Department of Building Inspection are extremely important, they are places where many citizens and neighbors have contact with our government. Active citizens spend hundreds or even thousands of hours commenting on projects...

March 2004 Voter Guide

Voter Guide February 6, 2004
Includes SPUR's analysis of 11 city measures on the Mar 4, 2004 ballot.

Business Taxes in San Francisco

SPUR Report February 1, 2004
Though businesses weigh benefits beyond tax rates when choosing a location, there is a point where types and rates of taxes do matter. This report compares the varying business taxes and their extents.

The City's Budget 2003 - 2005

Urbanist Article February 1, 2004
This article describes how the budget gap was closed in 2003 and makes predictions for the city budget in 2004-2005.

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