The doors are closed, the blinds turned down, music plays softly inside to muffle the sounds of deals being worked out behind those locked and secured doors. "Fiscal sustainability; water reliability; economic development; and community legacy projects" are but a few of topics being discussed outside of the eyes and ears of the taxpayer/voter. The list of "civic" leaders, movers and shakers and connected downtown money elite, grace the hidden "Action Teams" the mayor has secretly put together. To those of us who have lived through years of "decision by committee" where nothing ever got done when the mayor was pretending to be chief, it is now becoming obvious why the city is in such disarray.
The "Mayor's Civic Leadership 2009-2012" reads like the high society list of San Diego's rich and famous. The list is stacked with the well connected, downtown elite of who's who. Now I know I don't read every council agenda since leaving the SDPOA Board but I do stay up on the goings on and pay close enough attention I would have seen the approval of these individuals to the various committees enacted by the mayor. The question begs to be asked, "Was proper vetting done of the individuals and various committees put in place by the mayor?"
- "Fiscal Sustainability"
- "Water Reliability"
- "Economic Development"
- "Community Legacy Projects"
- Convention Center Expansion
- Civic Center Project
- Airport Expansion
- New Central Library
- Regional Charger Stadium
- Charter Reform
- Convention Center Expansion
These are but a few of the topics being discussed and planned behind closed doors at the mayor's bequest. This "Kitchen Cabinet" as it has been referred, was first discovered back in August. John R. Lamb of The City Beat wrote an article, "A Sanders kitchen cabinet? An insider's dream team is forming to advise the mayor" back on August 25. In the article Bill Geppert, Cox cable honcho and Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation, said of the Civic Leadership Team; "I think the idea is to try to identify and organize people who are absolutely passionate about a particular project or area." "Then, in some cases, these people can bring their expertise and be credible supporters when they speak to the City Council or the community."
The mayor's Civic Leadership Team sprang into action when the City Council's "Land Use and Housing Committee" was taking up discussion related to a new policy to require the City Council to sign off on major downtown hotel projects. The members of the committee came to the mayor's aid after Geppert sent an e-mail out to members asking them to attend a meeting or get a message to the Committee members to help "rebuff an ill-advised ploy by organized labor." At the end of the article Geppert is boasting in the e-mail, "Our team had a great success last week with the Civic Center vote."
Is it a wonder why the priorities of the mayor are clearly focused on his legacy and helping out his financial supporters? The picture is becoming more and more clearer every day, as the film curls from around the edges of the glass and glimpses of the inner workings of a man possessed are exposed. The pattern of "Decision by Committee" is ever present and being kept from public view. The arena the mayor occupies does not allow for such back room discussion and deal making. The public's business is required to be conducted in public. The public's right to know is being trounced upon by the unscrupulous actions of a self centered egotist.
Where is the ethics commission and why is this being allowed in San Diego? Why have the actions of the mayor been ignored and others simply accepting of his politics? The city is headed to ruin and no one seems to care. Wake up San Diego and demand the priorities of the mayor reflect YOUR PRIORITIES.