Tuesday, July 17, 2007 | Though I think it’s somewhat superfluous to do so, I will go ahead and say, “Congratulations to the San Diego City Council for doing the right thing(s)!” I am encouraged that actions really can be taken by our city policymakers to make our lives better in San Diego.

Yesterday, two very important items were discussed and acted on by council: Lobbying reform and wetlands protection at Mission Bay.

The council first proceeded to toughen the lobbying reporting standards required of those who would seek to influence city officials. Let me say, I don’t think there is anything at all wrong or untoward about interest groups, organizations or individuals lobbying government decision makers. That’s participatory democracy. However, I also think that lobbying must be conducted in a very open and transparent way, for all — especially taxpayers — to see. The Ethics Commission has done some great work to tighten things up, for the better of us all.

Second, under the longtime, unrelenting pressure of Councilmember Donna Frye, the precious wetlands around Mission Bay will be recognized and protected under city law, as they already are at the state and federal level. I am in no way anti-development, but some natural, ecological areas are so valuable and irreplaceable, we sometimes have to step back and say to ourselves, “Stop! Enough already!”

Superb work, council. I left council chambers yesterday and went home feeling very good.

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