How to combat the manufacturing skills gap

How to combat the manufacturing skills gap

"Creating a robust pipeline of workers to address the needs of U.S. manufacturers has become a national priority" according to a recently released report by ToolingU, a division of SME...

Statistics show crime decreased in San Diego

Statistics show crime decreased in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Violent crime in San Diego County decreased by 1 percent and property crimes by 13 percent in the first six months of this year, compared to the same period in 2013, according to...

Rewrite the Charter No. Two, the City Attorney

Rewrite the Charter No. Two, the City Attorney

Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre was right.

  • How to combat the manufacturing skills gap

    How to combat the manufacturing skills gap

  • Statistics show crime decreased in San Diego

    Statistics show crime decreased in San Diego

  • Rewrite the Charter No. Two, the City Attorney

    Rewrite the Charter No. Two, the City Attorney


September 17, 2014

Encinitas candidates field audience questions at Cardiff forum

in SAN DIEGO POLITICS by Thomas K. Arnold, writing for Seaside Courier
Tuesday evening's forum between all five Encinitas mayoral candidates and four city council contenders gave voters a chance to survey who they think might best lead the city for the next few years.
Sep 11, 2014

OB planners finding it no issue to fill board seats — for a change

It's getting crowded on the Ocean Beach Planning Board (OBPB).
Sep 10, 2014

New California bill mandates paid sick days for workers

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A bill authored by a San Diego legislator to provide three annual paid sick days to workers in California will be signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Sep 07, 2014

Sanders, Faulconer among San Diego officials heading to Washington, D.C.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Chamber of Commerce will lead a delegation of more than 100 area political and business officials to Washington, D.C., beginning today to advocate for local issues.


Sep 17, 2014

New public park opens in Linda Vista, with quirks

City parks are not usually built directly atop natural gas pipelines or below high-tension electrical power lines, but in park-deficient Linda Vista, community leaders saw it as a bargain worth making.
Sep 16, 2014

On the move after 25 years

AIDS Walk celebrates a milestone and moves to Hillcrest
Sep 15, 2014

Heat wave in San Diego; schools cut classes short

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The heat wave afflicting San Diego County Monday prompted school officials to shorten class schedules for some students again Tuesday.
Sep 11, 2014

USD hires group of female professors in STEM

The University of San Diego announced the hiring of an interdisciplinary group of eight new female science, technology, engineering, and technology (STEM) professors as part of an effort to become a model for…
Sep 11, 2014

Walking a mile in her shoes: raising awareness one step at a time

Everyone has heard the phrase, "you can't really understand another person's experience until you walk a mile in their shoes."
Sep 11, 2014

Feeling good: local nonprofit feeds fresh fish to San Diego’s hungry for free

In 2009, Todd Bluechel, a San Diego native who has fished humanely and with respect for the environment for over 30 years, became tired of two issues that concerned him: unwanted fish and hungry people. He began…

Q&A with San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith on Disagreements with Mayor Filner (Part 2)

goldsmithEarlier this week, San Diego Newsroom presented part 1 of its interview with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith.This second installment compares his previous relationship with former Mayor Jerry Sanders to that with current Mayor Bob Filner and discusses the Port Commission controversy, the Balboa Park flap and whether Goldsmith plans to challenge Filner three years from now.

Michael Rosen (MR): It’s not as if Mayor Filner is the first mayor you’ve interacted with. Can you compare and contrast your relationship with Mayor Filner to your relationship with Mayor Jerry Sanders?

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith (JG): With Jerry Sanders, we were still very independent, we said no and issued guidance. But the difference is, Sanders consulted with us beforehand and tried to get our guidance on how to do what he wanted to do. When we raised legal issues that he or his staff didn’t agree with, they’d come to us and they would say, “You’ve got this wrong because you haven’t considered these facts, you haven’t considered this, that or the other thing.” We’d take a look at them. They worked with us. We looked at it and tried to get it right. But if we said, “No, you can’t do that,” or “You can’t do it that way,” Sanders respected that. I’ve been practicing law for 37 years, and I’ve had many clients over the years. There’s not a client out there who likes to be told “no.” Clients want you to just bless what they want to do. It’s natural. Jerry Sanders had it, Bob Filner has it. In the final analysis, when we decide we’ve considered everything you guys have submitted to us, but we still don’t think it can be done that way legally, they would accept it. They understood that we had an independent obligation to make the final decision on the law. Filner does not recognize that, nor does he consult with us up front. And so there’s a huge difference.

MR: What’s been going on with the Port Commission? What can you say about the opinion about the controversy that your office just issued, which reversed several years of precedent and held that the mayor cannot veto Port Commission appointments?

JG: I wrote this opinion. The City Attorney’s Office’s initial opinion was in 2006, that there was a [mayoral] veto. There was not much analysis. It was just listed. And since 2006, the mayor has been given a veto right on every appointment. Our office issued an opinion earlier this year which continued with that legal opinion. I took a second look at it when the legislative counsel opinion came in. I do not agree with our January 17 opinion or the opinion since 2006. And so I reversed it. I’m very, very comfortable with the opinion I wrote. I’ve written hundreds, if not thousands, of opinions as a judge. I viewed it the same way I would view it if I were sitting as a judge on the issue. I’m very comfortable and confident of my position. But, I changed it, no question about it.

MR: What kind of backlash do you expect to result?

JG: I don’t know, and I really don’t care. My job and my lawyers’ job is to try to get it right, and that’s what we’ve done. This is a tough environment, and it’s been tough since the beginning of the year. It’s the kind of environment that almost invites mistakes, not only by our office but by the executive branch. It is a very difficult environment, and so my job is to try to get it right and try to focus on quality and let the chips fall where they may. It’s a solid opinion, and there’s not much I can say more than that I got it right and I exercised my authority as the city attorney and overruled the six years of opinions that were not correct.

MR: Your office has recently indicated a possible resolution to the Balboa Park remake plan, and specifically the Plaza de Panama issue. Can you explain what’s going on there?

JG: We had raised the issue of a project-specific ordinance that would allow the City Council to amend its ordinance to allow the Jacobs plan to move forward. We were asked by Council President Todd Gloria to provide a memo as to how that would happen, and that’s what we did. People need to understand that this is a quasi-judicial matter, approval of a project. Quasi-judicial means that you rely on the applicant to submit an application, and then you as the City Council have to consider both sides and you act almost as a judge. It’s different from other areas when the Council might approve a road or something like that when there’s an application. The applicant in this case was a group known as the Plaza de Panama Committee, the committee that was working with Irwin Jacobs. In order for the Council to consider this project-specific ordinance, the Plaza de Panama Committee would have to amend their application to ask for an amendment of the ordinance. So that’s the only way. The City Council can’t do that. My office can’t do that. It has to come from a third party, otherwise you’re not acting in a quasi-judicial manner because you’ve got to remain unbiased, sort of like a judge doesn’t act like a plaintiff or a defendant. You have to detach yourself from that, and it’s got to be the applicant. The PDP Committee decided not to include a project-specific ordinance, and they considered it, but decided not to. And they’re not going to do it now, from what I hear. So it’s nice to submit the memo about how you do it, but it’s probably not going to happen because they would have to file their application and amend their current application.

MR: Do you have any sense of why they wouldn’t want to do that?

JG: Well, Irwin Jacobs has said he’s kind of finished with it, and that’s probably the reason. Keep in mind what this is about. There is a city municipal code ordinance which essentially says in layman’s terms, you can’t alter a historical structure unless you can show that essentially there’s no real usefulness of your property without doing that—reasonably useful. The original application for PDP could have said, “We’re going to exempt this project from this ordinance.” They chose not to, and instead said it’s not reasonable. They said, “We have to touch the Cabrillo Bridge, which is a historical structure. The reason why we believe we can change this bridge is because Balboa Park’s core at the Plaza de Panama is at a level of service ‘F’ traffic-wise, just too much traffic congestion. And the reasonable use of Balboa Park requires a better traffic flow and pedestrian access to the Plaza de Panama exclusive of cars.” So they said, “We can meet that standard because we need to change the bridge to have a reasonable use of Balboa Park.” Judge Taylor said, “You know something, I’m not even going to consider that this is Balboa Park. I’m going to consider this the same way I consider anything else, and you have to show a very high standard, and I don’t think that’s the standard. I don’t think a level of service ‘F’ is enough to show the impact on Balboa Park.” What they could have done [was] submit an application saying, “We’re not going to meet the standard. We want to change the ordinance.” They chose not to. That’s just strategy. Maybe it’s because it’s harder to amend an ordinance than to get an exemption. So what I’m saying is they can still do that. They’d have to amend their application. And then the City Council would determine that based upon a quasi-judicial approach.

MR: You have said at times that we have a mayor who acts like he wants to be city attorney, as opposed to former City Attorney Michael Aguirre, who sometimes acted like he wanted to be mayor. But what about you? Have you given any thought to challenging Mayor Filner in three and a half years?

JG: I’ve said many times I don’t want the job. I’ve already been a mayor. I was mayor of Poway. I don’t want the job, so no. I know people are talking about it, but no, I’m not going to run for an office I don’t want to serve in. It’s nothing against the City of San Diego. It’s just that I like the law. My passion has been the law. Even when I was in the legislature, I served on the Judiciary Committee and loved it. My passion is the law, and that’s what I want to do, and I don’t really want to be mayor. So no, it’s not going to happen.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , a San Diego Newsroom contributor, is an attorney in Carmel Valley and resides in La Jolla.




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Smart kids are healthy kids

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Seven ways to crave less sugar

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Getting fit will impress your boss

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Five flat ab secrets — guaranteed!

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When the number on the scale won't budge

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Prev Next


September 16, 2014

North Carolina college recognizes STEM is critical to workforce development

in Business and Finance by Michele Nash-Hoff
Developing the maximum potential of persons by means of expanding knowledge and aptitude is the objective of the foundational structure of becoming a "Lean company." It is impossible for companies to achieve this objective without a comprehensive…
Sep 16, 2014

Computer scientists launch Kickstarter for video game that teaches kids how to code

Computer scientists at UC San Diego have successfully funded on Kickstarter a new and improved version of CodeSpells, a first-person player game they developed that teaches players how to code.
Sep 14, 2014

Apartments can serve as day care centers

An increase in the number of working parents has made home-based day care a service in demand. For working parents, finding good child care is invaluable. Child care offered at a residence in a…
Sep 11, 2014

San Diego dating site uses DNA for matching

Trying to find love online can sometimes seem like spitting in the wind.


o QUALCOMM 75.83 ▲0.12 (0.16%)
o JACK IN THE BOX INC. 62.74 ▲0.56 (0.90%)
o ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. 27.45 ▲0.41 (1.52%)
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Company ID [NASDAQ:QCOM] Last trade:75.83 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▲0.12 (0.16%)


Company ID [NASDAQ:JACK] Last trade:62.74 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▲0.56 (0.90%)

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Company ID [NASDAQ:ACAD] Last trade:27.45 Trade time:4:00PM EDT Value change:▲0.41 (1.52%)


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Rewrite the Charter No. Two, the City Attorney

Sep 10, 2014
Former City Attorney Mike Aguirre was right.

GOP Lt. Governor candidate risks alienating much of California with his dogmatic war against marijuana

Aug 20, 2014
I've been a registered Republican for less than 10% of my life. For 35 years I was a registered Libertarian and active in the party. While my views never changed, in 2011 I decided to join the GOP as a more effective…

Scores of CA school bonds this November — to pay for educational materials, not capital costs

Aug 18, 2014
Heads up! This November there will be scores of new local school bonds on the ballot in California, each raising property taxes. We have seven such bonds in just San Diego County alone. But this year most of the…

Is Comic-Con such a great deal for San Diego? Apparently not

Aug 04, 2014
A key (and quite correct) court ruling now blocks the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center. This deal involved a hotel tax that -- contrary to the requirements of the state constitution -- was imposed without…

The little-noticed CRUSHING rejection of Coronado's school bond measure -- how and why

Jul 18, 2014
There's one taxpayer victory in the June, 2014 primary that I SHOULD have reported, but didn't. A tiny, unfunded but determined pro-taxpayer group in Coronado CRUSHED a Ponzi-scheme school bond measure.

Texas now receiving well over DOUBLE the per capita investment of California

Jun 26, 2014
Three years ago, California lost its #1 status as the state with the most new private business funding -- Texas took over the top spot. Since then the disparity between the two states has grown dramatically. In 2013,…


California water bond heading to November ballot

Aug 27, 2014
California has been in a drought for quite some time. Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared the state's drought to be in a "State of Emergency" back in January, predicating 2014 as California's driest year on record.…

Prop 49 no longer on November ballot

Aug 24, 2014
On November 4, California voters will not see the legislature's Proposition 49 on the ballot. The Supreme Court halted its passage on August 11, the Court voting 5-1, the day the Secretary of State's Voter Information…

Record number of Latino voters expected at Nov. 4 election

Aug 01, 2014
In California, a record number of Latino voter turnouts are expected at the November 4 general election. According to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), 2.4 million Latino…

Kashkari requests debate; still no answer from Gov. Brown

Jul 29, 2014
Republican Neel Kashkari, who is running against Governor Jerry Brown in the November election, made a request to Brown to face him in 10 separate debates. The request was made on June 5, two days after the June…

Pérez ends recount; Yee heading to November election

Jul 25, 2014
Assemblyman John A. Pérez has ended his recount for votes in the state controller race during the June 3 primary. Board of Equalization member Betty Yee won with 481 more votes than Pérez.

Brown to sign budget in San Diego

Jun 19, 2014
SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Gov. Jerry Brown will sign California's $156.2 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year in San Diego tomorrow, according to the governor's office.