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Wednesday, June 08, 2005 | By SANFORD GOODKIN
I feel better. The mayor’s election is over in Los Angeles. A man with a multisyllabic name easily won over an incumbent with a one-syllable name. Simplicity is dead. And as for the electorate, in celebration of freedom and independence, one out of three actually voted; 50 percent of them admitted (at the exit poll) that they had gotten lost and wandered in to 7-Eleven to ask directions. Democracy – no wonder the world admires it so.
A mistake is made by voters who believe that the new mayor must be strong, like the original Chicago Daley. But they are wrong. We need a man with personality and never with a first name of Gray. We need a new Pat (as in Brown) or LaGuardia (as in New York), or Pete (as in mayor and not governor). I like a former police chief – regardless of name; or a present sheriff, with humor, who can build a team; or a very tall former friend of the present mayor (tall enough to stuff a ballot, err, basket). Our present mayor, is always referred to as honest, but never saw a risk he didn’t take, was jack-in-the-box in running or staying, and was a judge – and we know what the Republicans tell us about judges.
In short, we need a person with strength of conviction (not a felony) and actually, a benevolent dictator. Wait a minute – not a Hitler, for he was a real dictator without a benevolent moment, or a Stalin, who could smile under a wide mustache and never tell the truth, unless it slipped from under that hairy bush.
No, I mean a Donald Trump, whose vanity is so deep that he can handle any criticism for a sustained 30 seconds, cannot stand any building that doesn’t headline his name, and knows how to keep bankers at bay. The latter is what San Diego needs – someone whom the bankers don’t like, but who never bankrupts; that takes talent plus lender stigmatism.
I remember Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, a charming, soft-spoken gentleman whom every one liked and trusted. You don’t have to be a volcano to communicate. I like the present Mayor of Anaheim who leads, takes chances and truly loves his city, or Padilla of Chula Vista, who is a family man and means it when he smiles. Oh yes, there are a couple of council humans for whom I would vote, but I won’t tell you their names as I don’t want anyone heaping scorn upon me (that’s why I refuse to be nominated).
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. Read his real estate columns at www.sgoodkin.com