It will be interesting to see whether there’s a chief operating officer in the Filner leadership structure, a la Jay Goldstone, the current COO.
Filner tried to woo Walt Ekard, the retiring chief administrative officer at San Diego County, for that role. But it didn’t work out.
As Ekard said at his retirement party Thursday, politicians matter less than who they decide to hire.
• Stay tuned. As we noted this week, Filner’s got an extremely short time period to make a major transition. Something that the framers of our newest charter admit they never really thought through.
Most other cities with strong-mayor forms of government give new mayors much more time to make the transition, as they are taking over executive leadership of massive organizations.
What That Toy Scam Lawsuit Won’t Fix
This week, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced they’d won a settlement from a toy company that deceptively marketed a Disney Princess jewelry-making kit to young girls.
Our Sara Libby applauds the move in a new column, but notes that the toy has another problem — one only the market can fix — that we can do better by our young girls by not force-feeding them princess garb: “The whole episode is also a chance to teach girls that the real world means working hard and being discerning with your money, even if it doesn’t always work out.”
Vargas Hits D.C. With K-Street Fundraiser
Politico called out Filner’s replacement in Congress, Juan Vargas, Friday. Seems not even a month after his election, Vargas is hitting up the lobbyists on K Street for a fundraiser.
Friday, San Diego’s other new congressman, Scott Peters, finally got the concession call from Rep. Brian Bilbray. Peters’ lead kept widening and Bilbray finally decided it wasn’t going to change.
We explained what was taking so long as the registrar counted ballots.
What We Learned This Week
• Voice of San Diego reporter Lisa Halverstadt went on KPBS TV and radio Friday to discuss her explainer of the stench wafting out of the La Jolla Cove that is driving La Jolla merchants and some residents crazy.
Full disclosure, Halverstadt had to turn on the empathy engine because she has a crucial disability that is interesting when covering a story like this: The woman can’t smell.
As Halverstadt explained, the bluffs were previously roped off, which kept visitors from disturbing the fowl.
But this allowed cormorants, gulls and their guano to gather and now the odor is driving away folks who might otherwise dine in nearby restaurants or recreate. Councilwoman Sherri Lightner and others are pleading for help but unable to figure out how to navigate the environmental protections that prohibit them from just washing it off.
• San Diego, finally free from another tense election season, has found out that it will need to host a special election to replace Council President Tony Young. He let it be known he was on his way to a much more lucrative job running the local Red Cross.
• One of the guys who might replace Young, Barry Pollard, had one of our Top 5 comments of the week this week. No, he did not confirm or deny that he’s running. KPBS says he’s thinking about it, though.
• I got a ton of response from my attempt to briefly explain the huge water deal the San Diego County Water Authority is marching toward. It may agree to buy many many years’ worth of desalinated water from a private company. I’d like to pull together some follow-ups. What’s your take?
• Remember when that cynical political consultant got offended by a supposedly cynical political consultant?
• On June 30, in City Heights, gunmen unloaded 40 rounds and killed 18-year-old Rickquese McCoy. It was a startling burst of violence during a year when homicides are on the uptick. And it has spurred the neighborhood into action. Megan Burks explained how.
• Southwestern College’s journalism students have always gotten attention nationwide and they just received the prestigious Pacemaker Award by the Associated Collegiate Press. Congrats, folks.
Response to Prop. 37 Diss
Jed Sundwall got loads of responses to his take on Proposition 37, why he didn’t vote for it and why propositions are a waste in general. We pulled one of the most thoughtful, from Debby Zygielbaum, out as a full letter.
• The city has chosen a bike-sharing contractor, which leaders say will not cost the city anything but the space they take up.
Andrew Donohue looked into this last month.
Quote of the Week
“My guess would be that it’s disgusting and it’s bothersome and it might even burn the eyes but it’s probably not exerting adverse health risks.”
— Rick Gersberg, a microbiologist, discussing the stench wafting out of La Jolla Cove