In “Sanders Neutral in Airport War” Mr. Donohue and Mr. Davis raise significant issues which are representative of the current San Diego government infrastructure.
Mayor Sanders appointed Mr. Young as his representative on the board. One would have thought that San Diego would have had a city position on the proposed location of a new airport. In my conversation with Mr. Young, he stated there is no city position. Then when the board reached a recommendation, Mayor Sanders comes out neutral. Regardless of Mr. Young’s statements the mayor under cut our representative on the board.
This environment within the San Diego city government lacks any reasonable logic. The taxpayers pay the councilpersons and the mayor to participate on the various boards, agencies, etc., as representatives of the city, but almost without exception, they do not have guidance or direction from the council or the mayor (which means the people). This implies they are on their own to make decisions that impact the city without the benefit of debate or input. The MTS is a classic example; just ask what is the city’s goal as it relates to mass transit systems. Then try to take a bus to a destination. The service is not designed to get San Diego people to where they work and play. Again, no firm plan for San Diego being advocated at the MTS level.
However, the city representative can publish a full-page advertisement in The San Diego Union Tribune saying they have done a comprehensive survey and the result is less service and higher fees. The people who need and rely on this service are not provided the quality of service they need. What is the goal and plan for mass transportation within San Diego, and who represents our needs?
The taxpayers are paying for the council member’s and mayor’s service, but they seem to be more interested in retreats, meetings in Sacramento, meetings in Washington, etc., than doing the actual city business at hand. I have absolutely no objection to participation in the external bodies that impact San Diego, however, our representatives should have plans and goals to advocate within these bodies, not just what one individual thinks is right. I am sure the council could show that through their efforts they have been able to get funding for San Diego, but without a plan specific to San Diego the money does not end up matching the needs of the people of San Diego and the issue becomes another political talking point.
This takes me back to the airport and the neutral stance by the mayor. Regardless of the location, there are going to be major impacts to the city in the form of infrastructure and costs that will have to be addressed by the city. Where is the mayor’s plan to address these issues? Some of the items are independent to the specific location and some will depend on where the airport is located, but they exist and maybe some of our local officials should spend time addressing these types of issues.