Monday, May 02, 2005 | The Mayor’s office is dead; long live the Mayor. Another idea would be to trade Dick for George W, for the latter is much more suited to be a small-town mayor and Dick would absolutely be an improvement over the president, as long as Rove remains in D.C.

We are going to evolve into a “strong-mayor system” now. I’ve often expressed the opinion that a mayor is as good as he is effective, no matter how much weight-lifting he or she may have done. In other words, it’s the person, not the process. Many would take issue, but that’s why I write; any how. I’ve worked with and studied leaders for many years, teach the subject (along with ethics) at several universities and can guarantee that this is the reality.

However, it will be fun as several position themselves for the trial run; I do not mean trial as in jury – that’s another matter. We shouldn’t be embarrassed about this either, just because we made Time magazine’s list and have been featured in the New York Times lately. After all, they are just trying to get the heat off the east coast. However, we deserve it when we proclaim that we are “America’s Finest City” and then stick with that nonsense, year after year. We are America’s luckiest climate but we have to work our way into being fine or the finest and I’m not certain we would be willing to work that hard, as we have many other pre-occupations.

More seriously, me-thinks that the people, citizens, observers and sometime-voters would like someone to lead them who is not an insider, and not a political animal. It’s always easier to know what we do not like rather than what we really need: a person with ethical compass, who likes people, loves the city, and has strength of integrity and character – in fact – somewhat of a character isn’t a bad thought.

If you have some thoughts on who and why, let me know.

Sanford “Sandy” Goodkin is acting chairman of Civic Solutions, a group of leaders who analyze San Diego’s problems, prioritize them and search for solutions, representing diverse points of view. He is a trustee of the Urban Land Institute and is a pioneer of residential market and marketing analysis.

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