You might assume every new development in the city turns into a battle or, even worse, a scandal. But you’d be wrong. Lots of major neighborhood projects make just about everyone happy, or at least don’t rile people up.

Andrew Keatts examines three recent projects that “have flipped the normal development narrative.”

One’s right next to that defunct but interestingly designed Post Office in North Park. Another is a project in La Jolla that raised hackles among historical preservationists but seems to be resolved via a compromise. And the third is a downtown/East Village plan to “use shipping containers to build a communal outdoor area with space for multiple tenants in a vacant city-owned lot.”

Behind City Charter’s Massive Fail

The drafters of revisions to the city’s constitution, known as the city charter, were focused on other things a few years ago and didn’t spend much time on how to remove public officials. Oops.

“That came back to haunt city leaders six years later, when policy wonks and residents learned recall organizers would need to gather more than 100,000 signatures in as few as 39 days to let voters decide Filner’s fate — and that they had few other options,” writes Lisa Halverstadt, in a new story examining how things went wrong.

The Day in Post-Filner

• The special election to choose a new mayor will be held Nov. 19, the City Council declared. (Via NBC San Diego) You can watch VOSD reporter Liam Dillon talk about election challenges on Fox5 here.

• Now here’s a surprise: Bruce Coons, head of Save Our Heritage Organisation and a vehement critic of the Jacobs plan to remake Balboa Park, is exploring a bid for mayor. (SD Reader) (Disclosure: Jacobs is a major donor to VOSD.)

• The City Council also approved $2 million in uniform allowances for cops. (U-T San Diego)

• CityBeat raps Filner over the last part of stunning resignation speech (“painfully out of touch and in extreme denial”) then lays out a vision for preserving his progressive values.

• The U-T profiles mayoral hopeful Nathan Fletcher, the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat whose party-flipping is shaping up to be his major weakness. For background, check our coverage of his last conversion.

• The city’s chief operating officer told the U-T earlier this week that he hasn’t been in touch with the mayor, who remains in office until tomorrow.

• Former Councilman Ben Hueso, now a state senator, confirmed to the U-T a news account regarding his alleged observation of lewd behavior at City Hall by then-Councilman Carl DeMaio. DeMaio offered his defense to NBC 7 on Tuesday.

Fixing the State’s Public Records Mess

VOSD reporter Joel Hoffman offers three ways to fix the state’s ailing Public Records Act, which almost got gutted a few weeks ago.

Why the need for repairs? Here’s one reason: “Last year, a national study of state laws and practices that are supposed to promote transparency and curb corruption gave California a near-failing grade when it came to a key indicator of openness: public access to information.”

Meanwhile, CityBeat explores the city’s recent struggles to provide the open and transparent government promised by Filner.

Food Fight and a Food Strike

Some local food workers are expected to go on a one-day strike today to protest low wages. “Organizers are urging fast food restaurants to more than double the national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour — what they say is a true living wage,” reports VOSD’s Clare Leschin-Hoar, who blogs about the politics of food.

Binders Full of Non-Candidates

Introducing: Mayor Romney! Wait, what? Yes, there’s been some online chatter about a certain M. Romney throwing his hat in the ring. Somebody even appears to be polling about a Romney for mayor. But it’s not likely that M. Romney — but one of his sons, Matt.

So what’s the news? Mitt’s not running. Even if he wanted to, he can’t run.

The Registrar of Voters yesterday confirmed that no one named Mitt Romney (or W. Mitt Romney or Willard Mitt Romney) is registered to vote in the city. Candidates for mayor must be registered for at least 30 days prior to filing nomination papers on Sept. 20.

Uh-oh. I just realized that I didn’t ask about any voters named R. Witt Momney. The plot thickens …

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

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