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It’s taken me a couple of days but I wanted to give kudos to City Council President Scott Peters for a little stance the other night that I thought was praiseworthy.
Right in the thick of this bizarre series of events that led to the reappointment of Steve Cushman to the port commission, Peters took a stand for the public.
The council had taken two 4-4 votes that meant whatever they were voting on failed. The first was the move to waive the city’s policy on term limits for boards and commissions. When that failed, it meant that Laurie Black was the only eligible nominee to the port commission that day. The second vote, though, meant that the council had failed to approve her appointment.
At that moment, City Attorney Mike Aguirre told the council to basically go and figure out what to do behind the scenes. Here’s how it went:
Aguirre: Might I make a suggestion that you might want to take a short break at this time and let everyone sort of collect their thoughts?
Peters: No. I don’t think that would be appropriate at this time. But thank you.
Donna Frye: Mr. Peters we’re gonna settle this now, we’re gonna do this in public.
Peters and Frye were right. It would not have been appropriate for the council to go into the back room. Even if they had done it on the up-and-up and not even spoken to each other, it wouldn’t have mattered. Councilwoman Toni Atkins’ ensuing change of heart would have been interpreted with more skepticism than it already deserved had it come after some kind of break for the council to “collect their thoughts.”
So, thanks to Scott Peters for forcing the discussion to stay in the public. Just wanted to say that really quickly.