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What began as a routine community update became a full-throated defense of an embattled administration.
After updating the North Park Planning Committee Tuesday evening on an issue with a local Jack in the Box that Mayor Bob Filner took up on the group’s behalf, Linda Perine, Filner’s director of community outreach, urged the room to remember the work Filner had done on behalf of neighborhood groups.
“I recognize how hard y’all work, and how frequently you lose and how that creates an expectation of losing all the time, but I think I can say … that your experience has been very different in the last six months,” she said.
Perine’s comments come as Filner makes clear he has no intention to heed calls from former supporters to resign over sexual harassment allegations.
She explained the current state of local opposition, now with the mayor’s backing, to Jack in the Box’s attempt to remodel its restaurant while retaining its drive-thru window. The city attorney’s office responded to questions from Development Services over whether the restaurant’s permit was issued properly, but the response is attorney-client privileged information, and the mayor is reviewing it.
“That’s the update, and now I’d like to make a few editorial comments,” she said.
“I view this as a complete and total example of how things were, and how they are. And how they are is: Citizens came to the mayor and asked for help, and immediately — immediately! — had instantaneous help from the highest level that was available. This is kind of how government is supposed to work.”
Her appeal to the group to remember the way things used to be even included a brief allusion to the scandal engulfing the mayor’s office, and the possibility that it could lead to his exit.
“Name me a mayor — or a prospective mayor — under which that would happen,” she said.