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I just called Darren Pudgil, Mayor Jerry Sanders’ spokesman, to ask him for his thoughts on my earlier post about the trash piling up at the beach. (The city has removed garbage cans from beachfront areas and is no longer picking up the trash there.)

It’s a new thing I’m trying out. We call it a photo interview. I take a photo, put it on the blog or in an e-mail, and then get people’s thoughts about the picture and what it means.

Pudgil had this to say about the rubbish: “It’s not necessarily a result of the budget cuts it’s a result of somebody who can’t properly dispose of trash.”

He said that this is precisely the kind of thing the mayor was talking about in his State of the City address. Sanders called on San Diegans to take personal responsibility for their neighborhoods at a time when the city grappled with diminished services.

However, the garbage bags seemed to be a direct response to that. The trash cans were placed there by residents concerned about litter. Now, there just needs to be a volunteer to haul it away — a job that used to be the city’s.

Asked about how this sort of thing affects tourism, considering Sanders is studying a possible $1 billion expansion of the San Diego Convention Center to bolster tourism, Pudgil told me: “It’s not a pretty sight, but the reality is people need to take responsibility for themselves and properly dispose of their own trash. There’s not going to be a trash can every 50 feet.”

Correction: This post previously listed Darren Pudgil as Mayor Jerry Sanders’ chief of staff. Pudgil called to say while he appreciates the promotion, he is still Sanders’ spokesman/communications director as far as he knows. We regret the error.


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