June 25 2004

Editorial

Mayors are unqualified to run the city!

A City Council committee, last week, approved a ballot proposal to change the San Diego City Charter from a City Manager type government to a strong Mayor form of government. This would place the Mayor in charge of the annual city budget, hiring and firing of department heads, the power to veto the city council, and a myriad of other powers. In other words this would condense the power of the city into the hands of a single person. This proposal will go before the full city council next month to decide whether or not to put this proposal on the November ballot.

Amongst large cities, San Diego is one of the very few that is run by a City Manager. To fundamentally change the way a city is run is something that should not be taken lightly and certainly not something that should not be done as a last minute add-in. A City Charter change should be discussed, analyzed, debated, by the electorate (voters), desired changes if any made and then submitted to the City Council for their input and then placed before the electorate for a vote at a regularly scheduled election.

What is blatantly wrong is that this proposal was developed and created by Mayor Dick Murphy and 15 or so of his cronies who see the City, as one big Piggy bank to raid at will! Do they or the Mayor really hold the best interests of the city? By creating this proposal at such a late date it severely limits the opportunity for the public to debate this issue and to mount a campaign against this “special interest “power grab!

For the Hispanic community this is particularly crucial, it is much like district only elections, a Strong Mayor form of government limits the input and access to power and puts the power and control in the hands of a few. As it is, Mayor Murphy shows very little concern for all those who are non-white, not making million and who live in the wealthiest parts of the City. There is an old political axiom: he, who makes the rules, controls the game. In this case it is not the City Council, nor the voters. Mayor Murphy has shown little reason why he should be reelected much less why all power should be placed in his incompetent hands.

San Diego City is in fiscal problems and is in disarray because the current Mayor has failed to lead, He has allowed himself to be captive of the very special interests that have embroiled this city in massive debts. Enough is enough. If the Mayor and his compromised City Council wants to change the City Charter, we the voters demand that it be done legally and hold a Charter Review Commission comprised of all the necessary members to represent the different opinions that exist in this City. Then, the outcome shall be put to a Vote of the citizens of San Diego. All of the above should take place after the next election.

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