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Monday, Dec. 3, 2007 | The commentary by Mullen and Francis is clearly political in nature designed to highlight the plodding and torpid leadership of the current mayor.

However, the scattershot examples of visionary vignettes diminish the impact of the thesis. How can the Parthenon be compared with Horton Plaza? And why are Petco Park and the Midway aircraft carrier even on the list?

It would have been better to be less grandiose and choose appropriate examples of San Diego’s visionaries. What about “Geranium” George W. Marston, who had a life committed to maintaining and enhancing the quality of life for all San Diego. He is the reason we have Presidio Park, which he donated to the city.

And then we owe thanks to John Nolen, who was an urban planner responsible for the development of Mission Hills, a still beautiful neighborhood where I live. He had an abundance of visionary ideas of how San Diego should develop including a Grand Promenade from Balboa Park to the ocean. He also envisioned a Great Harbor for San Diego that served both the commercial and recreational needs of the city.

We are now at the crossroads of how to develop the North Embarcadero shoreline. Are we going to squander the opportunity for vision, or will we follow the great San Diego visionaries of the past and create a historic gateway to the Pacific Ocean that will enthrall future generations? Or will we allow the city, CCDC, the Port of San Diego and the Navy to destroy that dream?

The current mayor doesn’t care about the waterfront as his administration decays as if he were a lame duck. But Steve Francis, a likely 2008 mayoral candidate, mentions nothing in his commentary that he would do that would be visionary either.

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