I started listening to the messages on the answer machine and whose voice did I hear but “Mayor Jerry Sanders,” asking me to “Vote yes on Proposition D,” that personable, avuncular voice reminding me that the Strong Mayor form of government in San Diego is the only hope for digging us out of our financial mess and righting all the wrongs of City Hall over the past decades. Really?
Number 1, I hate robo-calls. Number 2, the Strong Mayor from of government sucks, and I say that having lived through a less than perfect City Manager form of government for most of the thirty years that I have resided in San Diego.
Proposition D gives city of San Diego residents the opportunity to vote on not only whether the City Charter be changed permanently to a Strong Mayor form of government, which is in itself a substantive issue, BUT ALSO includes adding a ninth council district seat and the requirement of a super majority to pass legislation. Wow. Don’t roll your eyeballs up in your heads. Keep reading!
Now why in the world would we want to do that? Because the Masters of the Universe think it’s a good idea, which is to say the San Diego Taxpayers Association, which really isn’t taxpayers like you and me; Carl DeMaio, the councilman who would be mayor, and the developers and special interest groups identified by the League of Women Voters- all think it’s a really swell idea.
Where do YOU fit into these groups? Did you kick in this kind of support- $10,000????? Read about the rest of the backers here .
Here’s a sample:
Corky McMillian Co. / Real Estate Investment, Land Development & Home-Building Company $ 10,000
Sudberry Properties /Commercial Real Estate $ 10,500
San Diego Association of Realtors $ 10,000
Allied Waste /Contract for mayor’s privatized recycling program $10,000
San Diego Restaurant & Beverage PAC $ 10,000
Malin Burnham / Cushman Wakefield $ 10,000
John Davies /Attorney $ 10,000
AT&T California Employee PAC $ 10,000
A host of construction services, surveying & mapping, urban design, transportation, legal support services, including …
Sempra Energy / Parent Company of San Diego Gas & Electric
Nova Engineering / Works on 4 Largest Construction Projects in San Diego Region
Our Strong Mayor has dismissed those of us who show up at lengthy City Council meetings and sub–committee meetings to give our 2 minute citizen presentation as “special interests.”
Think about that- he thinks those of us who take the time out of our lives to often wait hours to speak on behalf of our fire rings, our libraries, our park and recreation services, that WE are special interests. Corky McMillian, Allied Waste, Malin Burnham et al evidently don’t take that de classe route. And besides, the Strong Mayor never has to hang around those public meetings to hear our pain.
What has the Strong Mayor system given us?
It has given us spin instead of a transparent and democratic discussion of policy. Instead of being present at Council meetings, the Mayor meets with Council members individually-at breakfast, or whatever.
The Strong Mayor gets to pimp off of photo ops- like holding a press conference a few years ago to say that the Ocean Beach Library would not be closed as he proposed. He gets to look like a good guy, doesn’t he, when in reality he told the Library Department to make x amount of cuts and those cuts weren’t palatable to Ocean Beach or any of the other seven communities faced with library closures. That’s disgusting.
The Strong Mayor’s spin support- the office of the COO, CEO and his own office staff of course- continue to grow as our beloved general fund services shrink and disappear or have fees attached. This is the Nightmare on Elm Street which has not only slashed services but has callously and calculatedly attempted to undermine public confidence in the public workforce which serves all of us.
Machiavelli is not in charge behind the scenes as Don Bauder opined here. It is Freddy Kruger. And the Strong Mayor gets to do it with impunity.
Many, many people in our community have come out against Prop D. Donna Frye. The League of Women Voters. Marti Emerald. Community leaders in my neighborhood of City Heights. There is no official funded effort, however, against this proposition. What’s with that?
Send pictures of your signs and locations to the OBRag.