Mayor Jerry Sanders chose an ongoing street repair effort at the corner of a Tierrasanta intersection today to launch his second term in office. There, as city workers poured hot, pungent asphalt onto Santo Road, he said San Diegans can expect him to continue repairing the city’s infrastructure and improving its financial controls.

He also wasted no time taking a dig at City Attorney Mike Aguirre. Noting that more than 70 percent of voters selected someone other than Aguirre, Sanders said San Diegans had sent the incumbent a message to stop obstructing progress at the city. “For the incumbent to get only 29 percent, I think that is very telling,” he said.

Sanders, however, stopped short of endorsing Judge Jan Goldsmith, who advanced along with Aguirre to the two-person November runoff last night. The mayor had previously taken an anyone-but-Aguirre stance. While he said he wasn’t prepared to endorse today, he did give the impression that an endorsement of Goldsmith wasn’t too far away.

The former police chief also said he would now be studying the remaining three City Council races to better get to know the candidates and likely endorse in those races.

A television reporter asked if Sanders planned any role for his former challenger, Steve Francis, in his administration. “No, I don’t plan on bringing him aboard,” Sanders said.

The mayor said it was time to “return the city to greatness.” His most immediate goals are to have the City Council pass his 2009 budget and have it put his proposal for a new pension system on the November ballot.

In the coming days, he said, he and his team will sit down and plot their goals for the next four years. For now, Sanders said, he hasn’t had the time. He said he’ll run the city the way he has previously and carry a message of fiscal discipline.

“I think people saw steady progress at the city — not flashy progress, but steady progress,” Sanders said of his Tuesday victory at the polls.

He said he expects the coming four years to be as difficult as the previous three. Sanders said he will keep his previous stance on taxes, saying that he wouldn’t rule them out but wouldn’t encourage them while still streamlining. That actually sounded like a return to an old stance from the 2005 election rather than the continuing of a strong and steady stance. He also said he didn’t see how his stance on the Chargers would change. He won’t give any taxpayer money, but supports the Chargers efforts in Chula Vista and has offered to help out.


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