As someone who spent many years in the Assembly and State Senate making decisions, some of which were politically unpopular, I know that it is all but impossible to avoid making the wrong decision at least once. Oftentimes, decision makers are faced with misleading information or are forced to vote quickly with less than a full set of facts.

It seems that some in our community would banish our elected leaders for making mistakes. I choose to look at the situation a little differently. I’ve always thought that we should judge people not by the mistakes they make, but by how they respond to them.

I am proud that my councilman, Scott Peters, has worked every day for five years to clean up the pension system and restore San Diego’s financial credibility. He acknowledged that his vote to underfund the pension system in 2002 was a mistake, and that he would take it back if he could.

Unlike our current city attorney, who uses threats, lawsuits and an awful lot of bluster to attack the pension deficit, Scott quietly and deliberately worked to actually reduce that debt. Today, the pension system is much healthier than it was in 2004, and the City’s access to the public bond markets has been restored.

Scott promised the voters of the First Council District in 2004 that if re-elected, he would fight to solve these problems and make San Diego a model city for others to emulate. He kept that promise. San Diego is implementing some of the best financial and disclosure practices in the country, and municipalities around the country call on our pension and finance experts for advice.

That’s why Scott’s colleagues chose him to lead the City Council as its first Council President- because they knew he would work hard to solve the problems. He has led the efforts of the Council in a non-partisan fashion and has worked well with the Mayor and city workers to help turn things around.

I know Scott will bring those skills to the City Attorney’s office, and that he will turn that office back into one of the best municipal law offices in the country and a training ground for some of the region’s best lawyers.

—DEDE ALPERT

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