Rereading it, I found Mayor Bob Filner’s memo explaining why he vetoed two commissioners to the Unified Port of San Diego pretty compelling.
He’s right that this has been a pretty wink/nod process for many years. It makes sense for the city to hold hearings on what it wants the port to be (or whether there should even be a port!). It makes sense to outline the minimum qualifications for the positions, as we do for the city’s employee retirement board.
He put it all quite well. Well, most of it.
Toward the end, in one line, he offered a window into a simple partisan motivation. He complained that the city attorney put the two port commissioners on one resolution:
Both appointments are presented on a single resolution for signature, although the City Council took two separate actions to fill two vacancies and each action was taken under markedly different rules.
This, to me, confirms that Filner wishes he could have just vetoed one of the port commissioners: Republican Marshall Merrified. The City Council, with a 4-4 split between Democrats and Republicans, had basically compromised on Merrifield and Democrat Rafael Castellanos.
Since they were on the same resolution, Filner was forced to veto them both.
I say that makes Filner lucky. That way he could couch his veto in the lofty principles he outlines so well.
Had he only vetoed one of them, none of his other complaints about the process, minimum requirements for appointment, etc. would hold water.
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