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Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 | A Different City Attorney’s Office so it seems. When Mike Aguirre was city attorney, I could at least count on getting a response, even if it was wrong. Right before Aguirre was to leave office, I received a legal memorandum that supposedly answered my questions regarding the closure of Mission Bay Sportfishing.

That memorandum reached the conclusion that a 65-foot sportfishing vessel was equivalent to recreational boating and misquoted the Coastal Commission in order to justify the erroneous belief. The idea was that since both uses were supposedly equal under the Coastal Act, the sportfishing operation could be eliminated because there was no preference of one over the other.

There is however a preference to protect commercial fishing in the Coastal Act which is exactly what the operation at Mission Bay Sportfishing. The vessel is licensed as a Commercial Passanger Fishing Vessel and requires a license from the Coast Guard to operate which recreation boating does not. The Coastal Commission has told me that they do not agree with the city attorney and that the Hyatt must get permission before it changes any permitted use which calls for a full hearing with public input.

Which leads me to my first email to the new city attorney that was sent on Dec. 12, 2008. In that email, I informed the new city attorney of the previous wrong opinion from Aguirre and requested that my questions get answered correctly.

When a month had gone by with no response from the new city attorney, I asked for assistance from Councilmember Donna Frye on Jan. 15, 2009. The following day, I was informed by her office that my questions had been forwarded to the new city attorney asking that they respond.

As of Jan. 30, 2009, neither Councilmember Frye nor myself have heard anything from the City Attorney’s Office. So once again, on Feb. 9, 2009 I sent another email to the city attorney. Hopefully, someone at their office will finally respond to me and Counselmember Frye.

You can imagine how suprised I was to read the following:

“This office gives advice to the client, and I want the client to know that. I want the city staff and I want the council and the mayor and the city employees to come to us for advice.”

To City Attorney Goldsmith, the client will never know that your office gives them advice if you never actually give any.

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