Friday, May 30, 2008 | As a former member of San Diego’s pension board, I would like to thank Mayor Jerry Sanders for his moral and physical courage in standing up to the labor unions. I can assure you that the benefits which a weaker mayor and council awarded the unions in past years—in exchange for the unions’ political assistance of their own political ambitions—were excessive and brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy. We the citizens are still suffering the consequences of these decisions with reduced services and limited maintenance of our city’s roads, parks and bays.

I have served in public life for several decades as an appointee to several boards and commissions and as a mayoral candidate—and I can tell you from first-hand experience, when you do not buckle to the unions’ demand, it can have unpleasant personal consequences.

To the unions, freedom of speech applies only when the unions are speaking. When their opposition speaks, their members in attendance do everything possible to interpret and shout down their free speech.

I was pleased when Steve Francis entered the race for mayor. I knew from experience this would bring additional transparency to the mayor’s office and its method of doing business. I also knew it would open up communications with the mayor and perhaps make him open to suggestions that might benefit the city. And this in fact did happen when the mayor finally called on the Centre City Development Corporation to share in the repayment of the Petco Park bonds.

But I am concerned and alarmed with Mr. Francis pandering to the unions. I do not see how a person so indebted to the unions can possibly be an independent representative of the people at the next bargaining discussions with labor…

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