Here Is a Better Idea: Bill Walton for Mayor

by on March 2, 2023 · 23 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Colleen O’Connor

Why not? Todd Gloria is unpopular. City residents are unhappy with his tenure. And most San Diegans want a “new direction” with a new leader.

For an in-depth accounting of Gloria’s scandals and misdeeds, read the recent column, “Sins of San Diego Mayors Part 2.”

Then look at the obvious decline of the City once dubbed, “Camelot by the Bay.”

The Mayor and City Council, “Cannot maintain. Cannot Sustain. Cannot deliver.”  Where are the improvements they promised?

Certainly not fixing the roads. Cleaning the streets.  Protecting or Improving the “Jewel of the City,” Balboa Park.  Not saving open spaces, let alone adding to them. Or building something other than Lego-Land replicas for housing and rushed in-fill projects.  Where is the City’s Architect?

Here are Gloria’s big successes; more unsightly developments, more neighborhood-crushing granny flats, and more high-rise buildings in all the wrong places. Plus lots of unpopular bike lanes in areas that strenuously objected amid loss of parking spaces (North Park, Balboa Park, Point Loma, Clairemont, etc.).

Ignoring neighborhood input and ushering in pre-ordained contracts to friends and major contributors to his campaign coffers is another Gloria habit.

Small wonder, Gloria is unpopular. This is not a minority view.

A new poll conducted in the last month found that, “Nearly six-in-ten voters (59 percent) think the city has gotten off on the wrong track.”

“Only 36 percent say it is heading in the right direction.”

“The poll also suggests that the blame for the City’s wrong direction lies with one person: current Mayor Todd Gloria.”

Not surprisingly, “the negative view of the City’s direction was highest among older voters, with 72% of voters over 45 years of age saying the City is heading in the wrong direction.”

That strong voting bloc being those who have lived here, worked here, and witnessed the decay firsthand.

What to do?  Look for a challenger.  Look to new blood.

So, who can replace the unpopular Gloria?  Former Mayor Kevin Faulconer is considering another run. Rep. Scott Peters is mentioned.

Here is a better idea.  How about Bill Walton, a native San Diegan, an NBA superstar, a sports announcer, a team player and one who has actually come up with a positive idea on homelessness? And its attendant ills.

Bill Walton. UCLA grad.  Great name I.D. A man with a deep affection for San Diego and willing to do something to improve it.  Disciplined and admired. Plus, he is not looking to use one office to run for another office ad infinitum.

Refreshing. And winnable candidate.

After witnessing first-hand the serious decline of Balboa Park, the aggressive side of homelessness and drug addiction, as well as the inability of the City to make any significant improvements, Walton wrote a Times of San Diego opinion column with co-author George Mullen (also a native San Diegan) to detail the problems obvious to everyone.

“Most of us can no longer walk or bicycle our downtown city streets, sidewalks, and parks without facing an obstacle course of tents, bodies, human excrement, needles, trash, and a slew of walking-zombies who are impossible to distinguish between those just down on their luck and others who are out-of-control substance abusers about to attack us.”

“In San Diego, we have had enough. We are no longer going to follow other once-great American cities into the abyss of homelessness, lawlessness, and roadside shantytowns.”

His idea. Sunbreak Ranch.

“Sunbreak Ranch is designed to be a large-scale temporary ranch in the layout of the old California ranchos. It will be a creative, one-of-a-kind location featuring 35-plus amenities and benefits that strive to make the ranch the best possible temporary home for our homeless fellow citizens.

“Sunbreak Ranch will maintain a ‘clean, healthy, safe and secure environment’ for everyone at all times.”

“Walton and Mullen called on President Joe Biden to donate the land, and “deploy the military and security services to build a tent city using surplus equipment from the Afghan and Iraq deployments.

“Our military and security services have the manpower, expertise, and equipment to build out this entire tent city within weeks.”   They have proved that repeatedly in warzones, disaster areas and other emergency incidents.

The ranch would be located on unused federal land near Miramar Way exit, 12 miles from San Diego, and include:

Portable toilets, portable showers, mess halls, medical tents, and storage facilities. Also, dedicated teams of mental health professionals, substance abuse rehabilitation specialists, and vocational trainers, with 24/7private security.

As with everyone pleading for a change, Walton wrote,

“We can either rise to the occasion and tackle this challenge, or we can let the destructive, cruel, and inhumane downward spiral continue.  We have a choice.”

A better idea than the status quo failures. Bill Walton for Mayor.




{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Gravitas March 2, 2023 at 10:09 am

Serous article lousy photo


Charles L Best March 2, 2023 at 12:45 pm

Second the Motion!


Frank Gormlie March 3, 2023 at 10:33 am

Gravitas, I have to disagree. If Walton is to have a serious campaign, he needs to identify, acknowledge and mobilize his potential liberal-progressive base. Remind voters of his political background. In his youth, he was an out-spoken leftist BBall player and for a while at least, called himself a socialist.


Geoff Page March 3, 2023 at 11:22 am

Yea, and he was considered a bit of a nut case when he was young.


Sorry not Sorry March 6, 2023 at 5:41 am

I had the displeasure of meeting Walton several times in the 90’s. A real arrogant guy who thought he was entitled. Should fit right in at City Hall.


Chris March 6, 2023 at 9:44 am

It’s one thing to acknowledge his liberal past and current liberal/progressive stance and platform, but the old guy in tie die might be somewhat of a put off to younger voters, even progressives. Makes me think of this commercial:


kh March 9, 2023 at 12:52 pm

Based on what I know about him, the photo represents him quite well. No need to hide behind a fitted suit.


Phil March 2, 2023 at 1:00 pm

I also believe that we should vote for someone who wants to build an internment camp for poor people that costs up to $275 million for the first three years (and is built on what would probably be a superfund site when it comes to the toxins in that ground) AND whose stories about their interactions with people experiencing homelessness are (pretty clearly) made up!

“Cyclist Matthew Hebert, however, said he often has ridden his mountain bike past encampments and trails in and around Balboa Park, and he’s never experienced the problems Walton described.

“I have never felt threatened,” said Hebert shortly after he rode past the area Walton called Gloriaville on Wednesday. “They just seem to be doing their thing, and I’m doing my thing.”

He sounds like a great candidate!


Greg March 3, 2023 at 7:58 am

Internment camp does seem like the vibe. Placed out of the way in a non-walkable area of the city that once people are brought in it’s difficult for them to leave on their own.


Chris March 2, 2023 at 3:32 pm

“Plus lots of unpopular bike lanes in areas that strenuously objected amid loss of parking spaces (North Park, Balboa Park, Point Loma, Clairemont, etc.).”
The one good thing he as done. As the saying goes, one person’s hell is another’s paradise.


Sadie March 2, 2023 at 9:19 pm

He was pro measure C. This is what started the degradation of the beach community of PL, OB, MB.


Phil March 3, 2023 at 8:02 am

I’m wondering how a measure that was never implemented because of a lawsuit (and where the follow-up measure just passed a few months ago but absolutely has not been implemented in any way yet. Not a single thing has changed in the area as of today) in Midway has led to a degradation of PL, OB and specifically Mission Beach, a community across the San Diego River from Midway itself?


Geoff Page March 3, 2023 at 11:29 am

Take it easy, Phil, maybe she just didn’t word it perfectly. She probably meant to say is “This is the start of the degradation of the beach community of PL, OB, MB.” Whether you agree with that or not, she is entitled to her opinion.


Phil March 3, 2023 at 12:36 pm

I’d love to know the answer either way Geoff! Maybe you could ask her as someone who contributes to this site.


Phil March 3, 2023 at 12:37 pm

Whoops, misunderstood. Sadie, would still love to know your thoughts as we both would like to know more.


Gravitas March 3, 2023 at 7:20 am

AND, all the Muni pool excuses for being closed. “Benign neglect” waiting for more developers.


Tessa March 3, 2023 at 7:32 am

Maybe Walton would do a good job. Maybe Lori Soldana. But please not Gloria or some other tired party hack.
The camp Walton proposes sounds a bit like Miramar but certainly better than the street


FrankF March 3, 2023 at 8:14 am

He would certainly shake. things up but will Bill fit in city hall? I mean, literally fit in city hall. He’s a tall lad.


Lisa M March 3, 2023 at 9:25 am

Todd Gloria is a child who gets fussy when he is challenged or is not in his highchair. Pay to play is the only access Gloria will allow. Those of us who have lived and invested in this city are locked out of city hall.
But what Todd fails to realize is WE have the power to vote him out of office, the out-of-town developer donors don’t.
Use your power in 2024 and say ‘Hasta La Vista, Baby’ to little Todd. The worst mayor ever!!


Gravitas March 3, 2023 at 10:47 am

Got a better idea? Submit it


Geoff Page March 3, 2023 at 11:25 am

The one thing I like about Walton in this piece, if true, is that he would not be someone who would be using the office to leapfrog to a higher office. A person with no ambitions higher than being mayor of San Diego would be great.


Vern March 3, 2023 at 12:39 pm

Good point, Geoff.


Jan Michael Sauer March 3, 2023 at 9:42 pm

Why not start a petition to Draft Bill Walton for mayor of San Diego ?


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