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I began today by asking you all to think about who should run for City Council in 2008. As a matter of fair play, I’ll risk an opinion and tell you who I think should be drafted to run for City Council. I don’t know that this person actually lives in the city of San Diego or one of the council district seats that will be vacant, but there’s plenty of time to move without being a shameless carpetbagger. I do know that she has made countless contributions to good government in the city of San Diego and has the right stuff to do the job. She doesn’t know I’m doing this nor have I discussed it with any of the people with whom she currently or previously worked. Her hair will probably stand on end when she hears this and I’m sure my phone number will disappear from her palm pilot. End of disclaimers.

I nominate Lisa Briggs to run for City Council. Lisa is currently Mayor Sanders’ senior policy analyst. I first became acquainted with Lisa when she was executive director of the San Diego Taxpayers Association and I was crusading against the city’s practice of charging right-of-way fees to the water and sewer funds. I later worked with her on good, and not so good, ballot measures to increase the city’s transient occupancy tax. She has a first class analytical mind and is no push over when it comes to pitching an issue. She thinks well on her feet and is clear and articulate in posing questions and making recommendations for action. She understands the important of citizen participation in the decision-making process and can empathize with the plight of folks trying to capture the City Council’s attention. She is one of the perhaps two dozen people who actually understand the city’s budget and the formidable challenges it presents. And finally and most importantly, Lisa can disagree with being disagreeable.

Sorry Lisa, but I’d think you’d be a great elected official. Given the hours you now work in the mayor’s office, you would probably have more time to see your family as a city councilmember.

To my readers, I hope I have given you a better understanding of the unsightly process that gives birth to a new city councilmember. If you want better choices for City Council in 2008, don’t leave the selection process to special interest group insiders and political consultants. Yes, I know I’m billed as a political consultant, but I’m tired of the election eve calls from my real world friends who complain about having to choose between candidates who are either tools of developers and big business or tree huggers who want to take your SUV away. Alas, but that’s what the status quo gives us.

CYNTHIA VICKNAIR

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