Tuesday, April 12, 2005 | With the City’s problems worsening, discussions are turning to the three R’s: recall, resignation and receivership.

Here is my analysis of each.

Recall seemingly does little to change the direction of our city. Certainly it removes a mayor whom I believe deserves much of the blame for the deterioration of the city’s finances, credit ratings and infrastructure. And in my opinion, he has provided no confidence that things will change while he remains in office. But a recall will most assuredly provide us with a replacement that also will not have been the choice of the majority of voters.

It will leave in place the draconian financial obligations and the structural problems of establishing a strong mayor. So a recall, while making us feel better because we’re taking an action, is really a knee-jerk response.

Resignation allows for an orderly transfer of power. Hopefully, the San Diego City Council would not appoint a replacement as the City Charter allows, but instead would call a special election, where the rules would be understood and an orderly campaign could be held, with the top two candidates moving to a general election. San Diego would again have a mayor who was elected by the majority of voters, and around who we could all rally. It would also provide assurances to Wall Street and federal regulators that corrective action had been taken.

Receivership or some form of temporary transfer of city financial matters to the courts provides an opportunity for the financial mess to be untangled and to put in place agreements that are fair to employees and taxpayers alike. It also allows for certainty about our financial obligations.

So here are the three R’s of San Diego’s financial disaster recovery. That’s my opinion, and I hope to hear yours so we can have a thorough discussion and debate of all the options.

Peter Q. Davis is the former chairman, president and CEO of Bank of Commerce, which was acquired by U.S. Bank; the former chairman of the Centre City Development Corp.; and the former chairman of the San Diego Unified Port District. He lost in the primary for mayor of San Diego last year.

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