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A reader weighed in asking about the upcoming opening on the San Diego Port Commission. They wanted to know who I think the mayor and City Council should appoint to the open seat.

As voiceofsandiego.org readers already know, Steve Cushman’s second term representing the city of San Diego on the Port Commission expires at the end of this year. The city has a long-established policy of limiting Port Commission appointees to only two terms.

The mayor has indicated that he wants to replace Cushman with a new representative on the port board. One prominent candidate for the seat is former Centre City Development Corp. chairman Peter Q. Davis, who served briefly (18 months) on the Port Commission before being removed by former Mayor Dick Murphy, perhaps in retaliation for Davis having the temerity to run against him for the mayor’s job.

Cushman has built up a network of political supporters over his two terms on the port board and those supporters have mounted a campaign to convince the mayor and City Council to drop its port-appointee-term-limits policy and leave Cushman on the Commission for yet another term.

I’ve been acquainted with, and followed the careers of, both Steve Cushman and Peter Davis for many years. Both are outstanding guys, and both bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to whatever enterprises they undertake. I wish the city could have both of them representing it on the Port Commission, but that’s not possible at the moment.

I believe that the mayor and City Council should appoint Peter Q. Davis to represent the city on the Port Commission. Peter’s combined experience as a former banker, former CCDC chair and the experience gained during his abbreviated term as a Port Commissioner makes him uniquely qualified to build new bridges between the port, the city and CCDC at a time when we need as much communication, cooperation and coordination as we can planning and redeveloping downtown’s waterfront.

Appointing Davis to the seat would also uphold the city’s two-term Port Commission limits policy, at a time when the public needs to see more stability in city government practices. The City Council was “overly flexible” in its pension accounting and bond issuance policies and practices over the last 10 years, and see where that got us? The City Council needs to stand by its own policies and replace Steve Cushman on the Port Commission with a new appointee. Personally, I believe that Peter Davis is the best candidate for the job, and should be appointed.

DON WOOD

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