Supreme Court denies Alioto-Pier petition, conclusively affirming voter-approved Board term limits

High Court’s rejection lets stand last week’s unanimous appellate court decision vindicating City Attorney’s 2008 opinion on ‘rounding up rule’

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 31, 2010)—The California Supreme Court today denied without comment Sup. Michela Alioto-Pier’s petition for review and stay of a unanimous appellate court ruling that last week restored the legal effect of the “rounding-up rule” for term limits for members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. The rule provides that if an appointed incumbent serves more than two years of a term, it counts as a full four-year term for purposes of term limits. In rejecting the appeal, the high court has effectively affirmed the legal opinion of City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office, which advised Alioto-Pier in February 2008 that she was ineligible to seek another term on the board in 2010 under the City Charter’s term limits provisions.

“Michela Alioto-Pier is someone I’ve regarded as an ally on important issues, from protecting public safety to fighting to shut down the Mirant Power Plant,” said Herrera. “While we obviously disagreed on the interpretation of the City’s term limits law, I have always respected her right to pursue this dispute in the courts. I know most San Franciscans join me in thanking her for her service to our City, and I hope there will be other opportunities for us to benefit from her leadership in the future.”

The case is Arntz v. Superior Court, California Supreme Court Case No. S105808. Additional documentation is available on the City Attorney’s Web site at