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Former SF Mayor Mark Farrell wants his job back. This is how he wants to do it:

SAN FRANCISCO (CROWN) – It’s a crowded race for San Francisco mayor. KRON4 presents the top challengers. There is a candidate who once held the mayor’s office for six months, venture capitalist and former city manager Mark Farrell. KRON4’s Stephanie Lin spoke with Farrell about how he plans to win his job back.

KRON4 profiles the top challengers in the race for San Francisco mayor. A former city manager, venture capitalist Mark Farrell, briefly served as the city’s appointed mayor in 2018 after the death of Ed Lee. Six years later, he’s fighting for the seat again, promising bold moves like replacing the city’s police chief and promising to clear homeless camps from the streets within six months. KRON4 host Stephanie Lin sat down with Farrell to talk about his campaign and his plans if elected.

Below you will find excerpts from this interview. Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

CROWN4: Why are you running for mayor?

Farrell: San Francisco is suffering in our economy. What we don’t have is a vision from City Hall on how to revitalize our economy. Over the last five years, I have watched our city collapse. We are now the butt of jokes across the country. It’s very personal. You see, a little over a year ago my wife and I were sleeping upstairs with our three children when someone broke into our home and stole a number of items from our home. I just don’t believe San Francisco can continue under this failed leadership.

CROWN4: Is Mayor London Breed qualified to be mayor in 2025, yes or no?

Farrell: No. Mayor Breed certainly has a great personal story. But right now she also has a track record of six years of failed leadership at City Hall. She presided over our city during San Francisco’s steepest decline in modern history. We need new leadership at the top with a vision for San Francisco that will once again make San Francisco the iconic city of the world.

CROWN4: If you are elected mayor, what do you plan to accomplish in your first 30 days?

Farrell: We need a new police chief. Our police chief (William “Bill” Scott) has been here for over six years. During this time, public safety has become the primary concern. We need a change in leadership because we need to bring a breath of fresh air and new inspiration to our police department. I believe the government’s first job is to protect our residents. That won’t be done today.

As a former mayor, I demolished all of our ten major camps within six months. If I’m elected mayor again, I’ll do it again. You cannot choose to live on our streets. We will provide you with accommodation. We’ll get you on your own feet. But the decision to live in tents on the streets of San Francisco will no longer be tolerated.

CROWN4: So are you in favor of clearing homeless camps?

Farrell: Sweeps is the wrong word. We must provide individual protection. We have to offer them housing. We must treat them with respect. But if they refuse our service offer, we will not make it convenient for them. This is not the San Francisco I believe in. Sidewalks are for everyone. And I don’t think San Francisco has embraced that in the last five years. And we’re going to change that from day one.

CROWN4: What’s the first thing you’re going to do to eradicate crime in retail?

Farrell: Again, this is a question of public safety. The most important thing we need to do is not only to hire a new chief, but we also need to hire additional officers and transfer officers. We have to bring retired civil servants back. We also need to flood our police academy with new courses. No one wants to work for the San Francisco Police Department right now. We will change that.

CROWN4: San Francisco used to be an innovation hub for many startup companies. But things have changed quite significantly. We see a lot of vacant buildings in the city. What would you do to bring this innovation back to the city of San Francisco?

Farrell: This change also starts at the top and begins with the mayor. I firmly believe that we must create conditions under which companies and employees want to come back to work. As soon as we succeed, we will start working on local economic issues. I firmly believe we must use tax incentives to bring employers back downtown, to our struggling San Francisco neighborhoods. We must be aggressive and use every tool at our disposal at City Hall to bring workers and employers back to San Francisco. San Francisco currently ranks last among major U.S. cities in post-economic recovery and post-COVID economic recovery. That is embarrassing. San Francisco needs to do better.

CROWN4: What would you do to stop the drug trafficking and addiction we see on the streets?

Farrell: Again, this is about public safety. We must be incredibly aggressive, not only in hiring police officers, but also in working with our state and federal agencies to bring more and more law enforcement personnel to areas like the Tenderloin in South of Market, where drug abuse is at the forefront of our streets .

CROWN4: What is the biggest challenge facing the next mayor?

Farrell: San Francisco needs a reboot. We have the spirit of our city and the ethos of an inclusive, amazing city. We have natural beauty. We have incredible universities. We have everything ahead of us, except for the tour outside the town hall. So what we need is a mayor who will step up and say, “Enough is enough.”

CROWN4: Your competitors in this race are now saying something similar. Any thoughts on competition at this point?

Farrell: I respect everyone in this race, but I believe our backgrounds and our policies couldn’t be more different. My background includes over 20 years of experience in the private sector. The only candidate in today’s mayoral race who has ever worked in the private sector. This is actually shocking to me. I have been working as a lawyer in the areas of business and finance for over 20 years. I know what it means to make a payroll. I know what it means when companies do well and suffer. I also have seven and a half years of effective leadership experience in the town hall.

Turning San Francisco around won’t be an easy task. We don’t have time for someone to learn and develop thoughts and policies on the job after they take office. We need someone who can hit the ground running from day one. I worked as a supervisor for seven years. I spent four years there as the longest-serving budget chair in our city’s history and six months as mayor advocating for the issues that matter to me and that are important to San Francisco residents today. This is what we have missed at City Hall over the last five years. I’m going to bring this back to San Francisco again.

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