Matt Hall had an interesting report in The San Diego Union Tribune today that collected the leadership-averse business community’s very, very mild complaints (can you even call them that?) about the leadership-averse stances of Mayor Jerry Sanders, particularly with regard to the airport issue.

Nothing like a little criticism from the San Diego business community: “Umm, gee, umm, the mayor should, you know, maybe, umm, think about, you know, leading on this issue, but we understand if he can’t do it now. Don’t worry, he’s a good guy.”

Our news staff had recognized the importance the mayor was going to figure into the summer of the airport debate a few weeks ago. The mayor, predictably, chose to sit this fight about Miramar out.

Hall pitted that stance against the one of the previous mayor: Dick Murphy, who was supposedly rock-solid in favor of a new airport and who, it’s speculated, would have probably embraced the airport authority’s ballot measure. When your leadership stances are being compared unfavorably to Dick Murphy’s, you can’t like that.

The problem was, and what Hall doesn’t mention, is that another of Murphy’s big initiatives – in addition to the new airport – was to protect local military bases from closure. He flew to Washington, D.C. to plead with military and federal officials to protect San Diego’s bases during the most recent base-closing process.

In other words, while Murphy may have been more supportive of an airport than Sanders, he would have looked like a bit of a doofus now asking those same military leaders to modify, if not eliminate, their air operations at Miramar after he had spent so much effort trying to convince them that their operations at Miramar were vital for national security.

SCOTT LEWIS

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