Couple of things:

  • I just had a laugh with a friend about how upset Mayor Jerry Sanders must be that City Attorney Mike Aguirre was all over CNN and other media outlets talking about this road collapse in La Jolla.

The mayor’s probably stuck on an airplane. I can just picture the mayor and his staff cursing right now as it taxis to the runway in D.C. en route to San Diego.

“We are now sixth in line for takeoff…”

From the Reuters story going out worldwide:

Fire officials said about 24 homes in the scenic beach town north of San Diego could be at risk if the slippage continues. But San Diego city attorney Michael Aguirre told reporters no-one was in immediate danger.

“We do not believe there is an immediate threat to residents. There does not appear to be any additional cracking at this point,” Aguirre said. “This is a dynamic situation so we are not able to say for certain it won’t become more of a problem.”

They must have been crawling out of their skin.

  • I think this poll is very interesting. As always, the qualification: it was commissioned by Steve Francis’ think tank, the San Diego Institute on Policy Research. And Francis is, of course, seriously considering a run for mayor. So anything he finds that brings the mayor’s work into question, well, it’s just unfortunate that we have to qualify it.

But Competitive Edge, the firm that did the poll, does good work. The poll, of 505 San Diegans, found that 75 percent of them had heard almost nothing or nothing about the work of the Charter Review Committee. There are three ways people explain this and only three ways: One, that nobody cares about the process of crafting dramatic changes to the way the city is governed; or, two, that people do care but the committee is rushing its process, awkwardly stumbling through major recommendations and engendering skepticism from those who might otherwise be willing and able to communicate how big of a deal these things are; or, three, the media’s doing a crappy job of covering it.

I’m always an optimist about the collective intelligence and interest of the populace. Feel free to mock me. And we’ve tried to make it a big deal.

The fact is the committee is trying to do in a matter of a few months what Los Angeles discussed over two years.

As for the actual changes recommended to the charter:

Among registered voters 49% would vote for a proposal to make the strong Mayor form of government permanent, but only 23% are firmly for it and 22% are firmly opposed. Overall, 36% oppose the proposal.

My point has long been that by rushing the proposals like they are, members of the Charter Review Committee risk discrediting what are, in some cases, good ideas.

Let me know what you think of the rest of the poll.

SCOTT LEWIS

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