The Morning Report
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Mayor Bob Filner’s two-week stint in behavioral therapy may not have a significant effect on the day-to-day operations of the city.
Filner announced Friday that he plans to participate in full-time counseling for two weeks starting Aug. 5. He has no plans to resign.
He appeared to align his time in counseling with a notoriously sleepy time in city government. The City Council takes a month-long break every August, so it’s a common vacation time for city staffers and elected leaders.
And he’s recently taken less control of the day-to-day city tasks anyway since bringing interim Chief Operating Officer Walt Ekard on board earlier this month. As we reported earlier this month:
Since he took office, Filner has signed off on nearly every contract and city decision. As a result, city business has slowed, previously agreed-upon deals have been upended and City Council members and reporters have complained about a lack of information flow from the mayor’s office.
That’s changing now, Ekard said.
“He has agreed that that authority is now mine, so I do not anticipate that being a problem from here on out,” he said.
While he’s in therapy, Filner said he’d receive updates on city business each morning and evening.
The short hiatus doesn’t appear to necessitate any major leadership changes.
The city charter calls for the City Council president — Todd Gloria — to serve as interim mayor if the city’s top leader is recalled or resigns but Assistant City Attorney Paul Cooper said that rule doesn’t appear to apply here.
“The charter doesn’t speak to somebody who takes a temporary two-week hiatus,” Cooper said.
Filner may designate someone to take over some of his duties while he’s out but the timing of his leave may lessen the need for that.
Liam Dillon and Kelly Bennett contributed to this report.
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