January 10, 2003

Editorial

Mayor Dick Murphy No Visionary - Unable to Ignite Passion In State of City Address!

Twelve hundred citizens came to Golden Hall with hopes that the man they elected to office would rise to the occasion and provide a vision of where he would lead the city during a time of crisis. The time was there for the Mayor to use the bully pulpit and provide the much needed political leadership that the City has sorely been lacking. Unfortunately, Mayor Murphy would once again disappoint the voters of this city. The question came to mind; what is the difference between the Republican leadership of San Diego and the Democratic leadership of the State? Are we wrong to expect visionary leadership that will take us beyond the mundane? Are we wrong to expect that candidates for public office be a cut beyond the regular run of the mill individual?

Thus far Governor Gray Davis has been unable to go beyond the level of a third rank bureaucrat and has amply demonstrated that it is very doubtful that he will ever rise beyond being just another plodding, unimaginative politico, undeserving of being the Governor of the State of California.

Mayor Dick Murphy, unfortunately, will in the future be held up as an example of why Judges should never be put in a political leadership positions. Judges by the very nature of their experiences on the Judicial Bench are unqualified to be political leaders. Judges, as a rule, are conditioned to make decisions only when every element they must rule on is circumscribed by voluminous law rulings that happened in the past and are codified. When they make judgments, it is mostly after they have been filtered and screened by juries and attorneys. They are incapable of making the independent decisions that impact on all the people and that often times, takes courage and may have an element of risk. Political leaders in many ways must be visionary and inspire confidence. Military leaders as well as political leaders must often tread into areas that are uncharted. Risk taking is a large part of the equation. Often times there is no sine qua non. There are no safe outcomes. Leaders must lead despite the risks involved. They have no other choice.

Mayor Murphy has thus far been unwilling to take the risks it takes to lead San Diego out of the disastrous quagmire it finds itself in. He is prone to take the safest route in seeking solutions to the issues confronting his administration. The citizens of San Diego came to Golden Hall looking for political inspiration and guide lines on what the current Mayor and his administration would put forth to avoid a potential city disaster. They were doomed to be disappointed. What they heard were the same old warmed over goals that the Mayor and his administration originally proposed two years ago! The citizens wanted steak dinner and they got warmed over stew.

It has now become obvious, even to the Editorial Board of the U/T, a staunch supporter of the Mayor that the City is in trouble. In their January 8th edition they urged the Mayor to “speak up” and confront the many pressing issues that confront the City. We are pleased that they are finally becoming aware that “assertive leadership” is required. La Prensa San Diego in its January 3 edition took the Mayor to task for the dismal failure of his 10 goals that he promoted since he has been in office. We asked that he be visionary and assume the mental of leadership. The “Good Ole Boy” leadership, that has controlled this City since Mayor Susan Golding, is still much in control. The ‘Good Ole Boys” are still holding on to their power and pushing to retain the ‘status-quo’. They are determined to stop any changes that may take control from their privileged positions of power and influence. The failure of the Mayor to assume power and take control is hurting the City of San Diego and the entire County. The citizens have seen what the results have been when control is exercised by the privileged few. The citizens of this City are still out of the loop and suffering. They know that trickle down theories don’t work. Making the rich richer works great for them but not for the Middle Class majority.

The authorization by the City to allow the building of million dollar homes, which are beyond the means of the middle class, may work for the wealthy but does nothing for John Q Public. The majority of the residents of this city have to live on jobs that do not pay them enough money for food or to be able to have a roof to protect his family from the elements. There is no affordable housing in the City. The working class has little or no access to health care, or sufficient money to feed & cloth his children. They have to suffer the indignity of having their children receive second-rate education in second-rate schools that are inadequately funded. This generation is condemned to a life of poverty.

The Mayor still thinks that his highest priorities are; building a baseball and football stadium, with taxpayers monies from the General fund (Who can afford the ticket prices to see the Chargers or the Padres!); to build another airport (who can afford to fly?); to reduce traffic congestion (take a bus maybe it won’t burn up!); to fund and continue the Ethics Commission (when it undertakes to bring to justice all the City leaders who funnel all city business to the’ good ole boys, I’ll believe in it); to clean up the beaches (where are we going to dump all our toilet waste? All the city money is going for ballparks remember?); to make San Diego Americas safest city (you would have to disarm the COPS. They kill more people than the hood!); to pursue energy independence (Take back the monopoly you gave to SEMPRA i.e. SDG&E so we can have real energy independence); complete the Multiple Species Conservation program & open space acquisition (the human species is the most endangered species in the world what are you doing about them?); build a Library system (only if you take it out of the City’s hands. We saw the rip off of the San Ysidro proposed library); to create neighborhoods to be proud of, (sounds good but how come La Jolla wants out of the city? Isn’t their district one to be proud of?).

The bill is now way over due. It is time that the put the ‘Demos” back into our Democracy (a government by the people) (The absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges). We the ‘Demos’ of DEMOCRACY have been left out of the equation far too long. If our elected political leadership continues to ignore the people and the needs of the many . . . . . I see serious problems ahead for our much-vaunted DEMOCRACY.

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