Catnip to journalists and readers alike are details about powerful people’s political planning.

We wrote a blog post last week about San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ Civic Leadership Team, a group of business and community heavy hitters that are helping him advance his agenda for the backend of his mayoral term. Last week, team Chairman and Cox Communications leader Bill Geppert asked the team in an e-mail to protest what Geppert called an “ill-advised ploy by organized labor” to increase council regulation over some downtown development.

Further details about the team’s plans are in this memo also sent to team members.

The memo, which is undated, outlines the mayor’s priorities for his final three years in office with an organizational chart listing each team member under a certain duty. As I mentioned last week, the names are familiar: Vince Mudd, Sherm Harmer, Bob Watkins, Fred Maas, etc.

The four priorities named — fiscal sustainability, water reliability, economic development and community legacy projects — are not new. The level of detail revealed in the memo is.

A couple questions come to mind after reading the memo, especially after comparing it with this CityBeat explainer story on the team’s purpose.

CityBeat quotes Ben Haddad, vice chairman of the leadership team and chairman of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, as saying the leadership team wasn’t about Sanders’ legacy:

I don’t think Jerry’s really interested in a legacy, to be honest. People who’ve been around the political world will refer to it as that because that’s what it looks like. Jerry’s just wired differently than your average pol. I mean, if he were more like the average person, he would be running for something after this, and he’s really not.

He’s not trying to dictate what his legacy is. The public and the media will do that for him.

The memo refers to major building efforts pushed by Sanders — a new downtown schoobrary, a new City Hall and an expanded Convention Center among others — as “community legacy projects.” Then there’s also the org chart, which includes an overall “Legacy” committee and individual “Legacy” committees for each big project.

CityBeat’s story indicates that the team involved some level of structure and organization. The memo suggests that the structure and organization is well-developed.

What do you think about the Civic Leadership Team and its plans? E-mail me, tweet me, or post your comments in The Hall blog.

This is a conversation we’d like to keep going.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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