Friday, November 18, 2011

Wanted, for Mayor or otherwise

San Diego could be a place that unfolds like a rose.  Look at our city’s assets: strong neighborhood cohesion, entrepreneurial vigor, accommodating social values, renowned academic institutions, unique geography of canyons and hillsides and coastline, diverse communities, great climate… 

Now look at the mess we’re in: galloping public debt, collapsing city streets, shrinking libraries, accretions of homeless people, cracking water and sewer pipes, scarcity of good jobs, practical jokers passing themselves off as journalism moguls...

So here’s my question: How can it be that there is NOBODY in a position of responsibility in the city of San Diego who is willing to be open, frank, truthful, and honest with the public about the facts of life in our wilting city?  

Isn’t it odd that there is NOBODY in a position of responsibility who risks saying: 
I’m fed up with useless lip-service, let’s get serious about our shrinking public services and imploding communities.  
Time to stop fooling around the edges, let’s get started restructuring our crushing financial debt.   
You gotta be kidding about a 500-foot tall bayside erection.
Ditto for a pumped-up $800million super bowl-sized downtown football stadium.  

Isn’t it peculiar that there is no one in a position of responsibility, or in a political campaign vying for a position of responsibility, who will step up to the plate and speak the truth? 

Isn’t it mortifying that the public is an absolute loser when it comes to effective political leadership in San Diego?  

Despite it all, I'm an optimist.  So who’ll help me put the finishing touches on the following ad for Craig’s list? 

 A public-spirited leader who genuinely cares about San Diego and is eager to make a positive contribution to the city and to the people who live and work here.  
  • Must be experienced, smart, energetic, and thoroughly willing and able to tell and face the truth
  • Must be reasonably independent of political, monetary, and ideological ties that bind...inevitably
  • Must be bold enough to tell it like it is, call a spade a spade, and take the lead in the process of digging our city out of the muck
  • Must not be a procrastinator, bully, or higher-office seeker
  • Must revive and elevate the stature of ‘public servant’
  • Must go along with the metaphor of San Diego unfolding.  Like a rose.