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Another reader sent in this comment:
“As a park planner for the City of San Diego in the 1970’s, I was a real skunk at the garden party because I tried to do my job professionally. I confess it was unprofessional to get involved as a citizen in the public outrage over the permanent taking of park land for the naval hospital out of an extreme case of professional frustration, but I resigned my job in 1979, after an 11-year “career.”
Thinking I would be welcomed to the “Save Balboa Park Committee,” I joined the group, which was curiously led (dominated?) by a retired Navy Admiral and a prominent socialite. They let me march with a protest sign. Seemed I smelled a fifth column, but hell, it was a veritable Acropolis. I was SO politically naive.
The whole thing was a convoluted sham, and the people were hoodwinked by a complex good ol’ boy and girl system that is more arrogant than ever with its smoke and mirrors that they love, with a nudge and a wink at each other, to refer to with delicious irony, as “transparency.”
The present situation is a carbon-copy of those events.
San Diego may be “Enron-by-the-Sea,” but most of all, it is “Suckerville.”
I agree that San Diego has long been home to real estate “deals” which made some developers rich at the expense of the public good, which usually involved elected officials selling zoning entitlements in return for political contributions. The public has had a bad habit of getting momentarily riled, then going back to sleep, or to the beach, or to football and baseball games. San Diego’s climate doesn’t lend itself to public watch-dogging of city planning and land-use activities, unfortunately.
But once in a great while, the public figures out what is going on and storms the ivory halls of government, and saves the day before we lose yet another local treasure. Hopefully, this will be one of those times.
Please keep sending in your comments and questions, and if they don’t get posted on today’s blog, send them to the letters to the editor section.