February 13, 2004

Editorial

The City of San Diego Needs a Leader Who Knows How to Lead

A little over three years ago, San Diego residents had enough of the back room deals and moral and ethical corruption at City Hall under the leadership of former Mayor Susan Golding, and they were looking to bring ethics and honesty back. At that time, Judge Dick Murphy fit the bill. He was a judge and he was, at that time, a political outsider. He represented a breath of fresh air and a strong sense of ethics which resonated with the voters.

That was then. Today the mood and needs of the city have dramatically shifted, and the City of San Diego needs a new leader that reflects these needs.

Mayor Murphy’s top priority was an Ethics Commission, which ran into trouble from the beginning when the mayor renegade, on his promise to appoint a diverse commission, did what he promised not to do, appoint mostly lawyers. This was just one of the problems with this Commission, but it set the tone. Ever since, this commission has been inept. Coupled with the ineptness of the Ethics Commission, three of the city councilpersons are under indictment for wire fraud and extortion. And when these council members were indicted, the Mayor, instead of sticking to his promise of an ethical government, sidestepped the issue and differed to the court system. Mayor Murphy failed to live up to the promise of his election!

More than the ethics commission and the corruption issues, Mayor Dick Murphy has failed to inspire and lead. With the Charger stadium talks Mayor Murphy has not inspired nor led. During the devastating fires Mayor Murphy did not inspire nor lead. The pension fund catastrophe there has been no leadership. The city is in a fiscal crisis. We do not have enough money to pay for basic services, police or fire services, and Mayor Murphy does not inspire much confidence about the future in those regards. When we look to Mayor Murphy, we do not see a pillar of strength that the city can lean on in regards to leadership.

It takes more than just good ideas to run a city the size of San Diego; it takes a leader with the knowledge, the personality, and the will to see these ideas come to fruition. For the past three years, City Hall has been run without strong leadership and more under the direction of eight district mayors. In fact, prior to Ralph Inzunza being indicted it was widely considered that Inzunza was the defacto mayor.

Mayor Murphy seemed overwhelmed, and as such, during the summer seemed to confirm this when he held a press conference and announced that he was not going to seek re-election. It was only later, after business and political leaders who had benefited from his term in office convinced him that he should run, that he had a change of heart and decided to seek a second term. In today’s political and financial climate, we do not need a mayor who is half-hearted.

Of the two candidates seeking to replace Dick Murphy as mayor, Peter Q Davis represents the best hope for the City of San Diego.

At a time when city hall needs a mayor with a strong business sense, and background to tackle the problems of pension fund short fall, the Chargers issue, the billion dollar short fall, the lack of police and fire services, and the housing crisis to name a few, Peter Q. Davis has the best qualifications from a business sense to tackle these daunting problems. As president and CEO of San Diego’s Bank of Commerce, he directed its growth into one of the largest banks. Davis is a member of the Unified Port Commission. He also served on the original board of the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC), the city agency responsible for revitalizing downtown San Diego. First appointed in 1976, he helped guide the early redevelopment of our downtown including Horton Plaza, the convention center and the transformation of the Historic Gaslamp District. Davis knows what it takes to run a business, and the City of San Diego is a business that is on the verge of bankruptcy.

While none of the three candidates are particularly strong in regards to minority issues, Davis has demonstrated an understanding and has worked with many in the minority communities helping them start up new business and create new jobs, when, as director of the Bank of Commerce, he became the leading lender to minority- and women-owned businesses.

But more than the business acumen, to deal with the problems facing the City of San Diego, Davis appears to have the force of personality and will to provide the needed leadership that is missing in City Hall today.

La Prensa San Diego Endorses
Peter Q. Davis as the next Mayor
of San Diego

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