Virtually everyone in City Hall says they want to install public toilets on San Francisco's sidewalks - they just can't agree on how to get them.
For the second time in two weeks, the budget committee of the Board of Supervisors has voted to prolong the debate over the toilets, this time for two months.Wednesday's vote followed another acrimonious hearing on the issue, one of several that have taken place since the Department of Public Works unveiled plans to buy 27 self-cleaning toilets a year ago.
Supervisor Tom Hsieh called for the extension after a new report from Budget Analyst Harvey Rose revealed that JCDecaux, the French toilet manufacturer, stood to make $35 million more off the deal than Mayor Frank Jordan's fiscal advisory team had estimated.
Although those advisers played no role in Public Works staffers' decision to award the contract to JCDecaux, the low bidder, Hsieh said the new information raised "credibility" issues.
JCDecaux has offered to install and maintain the toilets on San Francisco sidewalks without cost to the city. In return, the company would get to erect 120 14-foot-high advertising and newspaper kiosks, most of them downtown and in the Financial District.