April 29, 2005

Latinos applaud Murphy’s resignation

By Pablo Jaime Sainz

When Martha Romo heard that San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy had announced his resignation on Monday, April 25, the Logan Heights resident said she felt it was a good decision.

“I completely agree with what he did,” said Romo, who’s a San Diego native and works as a teacher’s assistant. “The city needs a fresh start, a new perspective on how to run things.”

A series of events led to Murphy’s resignation: First there’s the fiscal crisis throughout the city, then there’s City Attorney Mike Aguirre demanding Murphy’s resignation, then Time Magazine naming Murphy one of the three worst big city mayors.

Murphy, who was less than five months into his second term, announced his decision at a press conference. He will step down from office on July 15.

“I now believe to be effective the city will need a mayor elected by a solid majority of the voters and with a clear mandate,” he said. “A good leader knows when it is time to move on. It is time for me to move on and time for a fresh start of the city.”

Another Logan resident, Paco Jimenez, said he thinks anybody can do a better job than Murphy.

“He was just out of touch with the people,” he said. “It seems that one term was more than enough for this guy. I’m sure the next mayor will do much better, because as it is right now, it’s a real mess.”

Barrio Logan residents also complained that it is rare to see the mayor –any mayor—down in the Barrio, asking people about the issues that are important to them and their families.

“It looks like we’re not part of San Diego,” said Lucy Acosta, who works at a local supermarket.

In Downtown San Diego, Latinos were also discussing Murphy’s resignation earlier this week.

At a popular department store in Horton Plaza, two Latinas said they thought Murphy accomplished many things during his term, one of them being Petco Park.

“I think the baseball park brought a lot of investment to the area,” said Sonia Sepulveda, who was with her friend Tanya Rivera shopping at the plaza. “Now that he’s stepping down, we need to look at the positive things he did, not just the negative.”

But other Latinos are not as optimistic as Sepulveda.

Javier (who didn’t want to give out his last name), an employee at a Chinese food restaurant near Broadway, said that Murphy only resigned because he had nothing else to spoil.

“The guy messed up everything,” he said. “The pension plans, the budget, last November’s elections.”

More down south, in San Ysidro, local resident Miguel Toscano said that Murphy’s resignation wasn’t enough.

“For one thing, I believe that our councilmember, Ralph Inzunza should also resign,” he said, in allusion to Inzunza’s FBI investigation where he’s being accused of corruption. He’s set to go on trial in May. “There’s something really going on at city council, and I think Murphy was just a part of it.”

Pedro Duarte, another San Ysidro resident, said that although he’s a permanent resident and can’t vote, he still lives in San Diego and believes the mayor did a good job.

Tourists from Tijuana were surprised when they heard San Diego’s mayor had resigned.

“I really don’t know much about politics here, but I didn’t know it was common for American mayors to resign so easily,” said Tijuana resident Delia Hurtado. I just hope the next mayor keeps the prices down, so that we can still come back to buy things here.”

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