San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom wants to disband the city's Entertainment Commission, according to an article in the Chronicle. The commission, which both promotes and regulates the city's entertainment industry, has been criticized for being ineffective in curbing violence and other problems around certain nightclubs, which critics like the mayor says is related to the fact that some commission members are too financially linked to the scene. The mayor's statement came just before the commission voted yesterday to close Suede for thirty days, following a shootout in February at the Fisherman's Wharf club, in which one person was killed and four were injured.
The mayor wants to return authority to issue entertainment permits back to the police. However, that power was initially taken away in 2002 after complaints that the police was overly strict and had created an atmosphere that didn't foster the city's nightlife. Abolishing the commission would require voter approval, however other options — such as creating a separate panel just for permits — is being explored.