Put your money on three department heads who will miss any bloodletting in Mayor-elect Gavin Newsom’s transition: Michael Burns, the Muni chief respected by the pro-Newsom advocacy group Rescue Muni; Trent Rhorer, the Human Services director who helped write Newsom’s Care Not Cash; and Mitch Katz, the Public Health director who’s got plenty of friends and allies at City Hall.

Rev. Al Sharpton is denouncing Howard Dean over whether the Democratic candidates should unite behind the enventual presidential nominee. The remarks come in response to an AP article where Dean said some of his followers may not go with the party choice if he doesn’t make the cut. “I would never ask anyone to blindly support the Democratic Nominee without ensuring that the policies of the Party in 2004 are fair and inclusive to all its members, it is for this reason that Sharpton 2004 will continue to work overtime with Democratic leaders heading into the Convention,” Sharpton said in a press release. “But to threaten to withdraw support unless you are the one nominated six months prior to the Convention is arrogant and divisive-and frankly is one of the reasons so many are questioning Dean’s ability to unite the Party should he win the nomination. Whether we support the Democratic Party and the eventual Democratic Nominee should be based upon the platform and the policies of the Party- not personalities.” Dean may have trouble uniting the party, but questioning its leadership is a good strategy for a large share of the electorate, as we saw here with the mayoral campaign of Supervisor Matt Gonzalez, a Green Party member who gained about half of San Francisco’s Democratic votes in December.

Monday’s edition of The Body Politic takes a look the City Charter and the argument for why Supervisor Tom Ammiano may get a free pass on term limits, even after three straight terms. The BP also introduces you to Jimmer’s Spuds McKenzie look-alike DCCC campaign manager and suggests the former offices of Melvin “King of Torts” Belli as a new home for Mayor Willie Brown. At a newsstand in S.F., or wordwide at http://www.examiner.com.

A couple of e-mails came in over the weekend about the Examiner story on Proposition I, the March ballot battle over polluting diesel buses. Readers want to know whether biodiesel alternatives have been explored for the old buses – particularly since some can’t even be upgraded with pollution filters. The biggest controversy with Prop. I, it seems, is the reserve fleet and its replacement costs vs. overuse. Under Prop. I, the reserve fleet would have to be replaced, even if it could be made cleaner with biodiesel. These kinds of controversies are best worked out through the legislative process, which is why The Examiner is generally opposed to legislation rammed onto the ballot by four supervisors, as happened with Prop. I. More on biodiesel and Muni later.