Couple of things:

  • So, just after telling us that he was being conciliatory and would hold off on his effort to politically destroy the mayor, Aguirre strikes again. He accused the mayor of a full-scale cover up regarding the landslide in La Jolla. Of course, the evidence is on its way.

That was about 16 hours or so of conciliation. Aguirre actually does us a service and lays out his entire world view at the end of the interview. Fascinating stuff.

Another transcript might just be in order. If I have time, I’ll try to get one together.

  • Was anyone else just plain confused by the City Council’s bizarre move the other night to swear in Jay Goldstone as the city’s chief operating officer? What in the world was that about? There’s no “chief operating officer” in City Hall’s structure. The mayor made up that title when he took office.

I guess what I mean is, what would have happened if the City Council had rejected it? Goldstone wouldn’t have gotten fired. He is just a mayoral employee. The City Council has no more authority over him than anyone else has over their own personal staff members.

Very strange.

The mayor’s spokesman, Fred Sainz, called today to complain about how much today’s editorial stunk. So I took the chance to ask him about the Goldstone matter.

Why in the world did they seek council approval for one of their staff members?

He said the city charter is clumsily written (imagine that …) and there was some ambiguity about whether the mayor had to appoint a city manager and get confirmation from the City Council.

Sure enough — this is so stupid — the city charter gives the mayor all the powers of the city manager and “sole authority to appoint the City Manager, subject to Council confirmation.”

So the mayor exercises “the authority, power, and responsibilities formally conferred upon the City Manager” but he is allowed to hire a city manager — except that the council gets to approve or disapprove of the city manager. So, does that mean the mayor himself is subject to council confirmation? After all, the mayor is the city manager …

I mean, this is maddening stuff.

The mayor, the COO, the city manager and the mayor, who is the city manager

Sainz said the Mayor’s Office saw this passage and decided that, “out of an abundance of caution,” it should ask the City Council to swear Jay Goldstone in as the city’s chief operating officer.

So does that mean Goldstone is now the city manager? And since the mayor is actually the city manager, does that mean that Goldstone is now actually the mayor?

No narrative could better illustrate how awkward the last revision of the city charter was and how important it is for us to spend a lot more time on the next one.

SCOTT LEWIS

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