San Diego needs a new charter

San Diego needs a new charter

San Diego needs a new charter. It should incorporate many provisions identical to the current charter, maintaining continuity and the present political architecture. However, it must modernize...

Proposition 45: campaign funds continue to increase

Proposition 45: campaign funds continue to increase

Campaign funds are rising for those supporting and opposing Proposition 45, the "Insurance Companies Required to Justify Their Rates to the Public Initiative." This proposition allows the insurance...

Stem education matters to our national security, innovation and world leadership

Stem education matters to our national security, innovation and world leadership

Over the last 230 years, the United States became a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators. Today, a little over 4% of the...

  • San Diego needs a new charter

    San Diego needs a new charter

  • Proposition 45: campaign funds continue to increase

    Proposition 45: campaign funds continue to increase

  • Stem education matters to our national security, innovation and world leadership

    Stem education matters to our national security, innovation and world leadership

SAN DIEGO

ID-100234610
July 22, 2014

State Controller race: Perez calls for a recount

in SAN DIEGO POLITICS by Shannon Barr
481 votes out of more than 4 million. That's the final number Betty Yee, member of the Board of Equalization, has over her competitor for State Controller, John A. Perez, from the June primary election. Because the votes came so close, former…
ID-10025379
Jul 21, 2014

Proposition 45: campaign funds continue to increase

Campaign funds are rising for those supporting and opposing Proposition 45, the "Insurance Companies Required to Justify Their Rates to the Public Initiative." This proposition allows the insurance…
2R2R mayor1
Jul 10, 2014

Faulconer lays cards on table on city’s present, future state

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer discussed everything from the budget, water independence and energy sustainability to fireworks and infrastructural needs during a free-ranging conversation with print…
15Y3 Soledad moon rise   Don Balch photo
Jul 09, 2014

Mount Soledad cross controversy continues; no end yet in sight

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision not to hear arguments for and against the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial cross being an endorsement of religion means the matter now returns to the Ninth…

COMMUNITIES

Jul 22, 2014

New details on city bike sharing program revealed

San Diego's new bicycle sharing program is almost ready to roll, according to representatives from Decobike, the corporate sponsor of the city's program.
Jul 18, 2014

City Council unanimously votes in favor of Horton Plaza budget increase

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously authorized a $4.9 million budget increase for a stalled project to turn a section of Horton Plaza into a public park.
Jul 15, 2014

Short-term vacation rentals group backs more police response, tighter enforcement

Increased police response and establishment of a comprehensive permit process were among suggestions made by the Ad Hoc Stakeholders Committee on Short-Term Vacation Rentals at the group's June 25 meeting.
Jul 10, 2014

Attorney's bid capping city spending on neighborhood promotion denied

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Superior Court judge denied an attorney's bid to stop the city of San Diego from spending more than $1 million used to promote neighborhood events such as street fairs, farmers markets, festivals…
Jul 03, 2014

SDCNN acquires three additional community newspapers

On Tuesday, July 1, San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN) officially acquired three community newspapers from Mission Publishing Group, LLC.
Jul 02, 2014

Timken Museum lands international art expert to become visiting director

David Bull, one of the world's best known international authorities on Old Master paintings, has accepted an invitation to become visiting director for the Timken Museum of Art to guide the institution through San…

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.

 

 

FITNESS & LIFESTYLE

Seven awesome reasons why you want to be fit now

Seven awesome reasons why you want to be fit now

Why you gain weight on vacation

Why you gain weight on vacation

How to recover from a cheat day

How to recover from a cheat day

Seven reasons the scale won't budge

Seven reasons the scale won't budge

Do you believe the belly fat lie?

Do you believe the belly fat lie?

Tapping out Your Trigger Foods

Tapping out Your Trigger Foods

Seven Exercises That Aren’t Worth Your Time

Seven Exercises That Aren’t Worth Your Time

Working Out to Work off Weight

Working Out to Work off Weight

Five Foods You Should Never Eat to Stay Fit

Five Foods You Should Never Eat to Stay Fit

Benefits of Group Fitness Training

Benefits of Group Fitness Training

Prev Next

BUSINESS & FINANCE

July 23, 2014

Stem education matters to our national security, innovation and world leadership

in Business and Finance by Michele Nash-Hoff
Over the last 230 years, the United States became a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators. Today, a little over 4% of the workforce is employed directly in science, engineering,…
Jul 22, 2014

San Diego Airport’s $80 million parking project back on track

Traveling through the San Diego International Airport might become a whole lot easier for globetrotters as the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board of Directors voted unanimously…
Jul 22, 2014

Two elementary schools to be renovated with $34M grant

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A $34 million grant from the U.S. Defense Department will allow the San Diego Unified School District to renovate two elementary schools that serve the Murphy Canyon Navy housing…
Jul 22, 2014

San Diego County jobless rate rises to 6.1 percent

The unemployment rate in San Diego County was 6.1 percent in June, an increase from the 5.8 percent rate in in May and below the year-ago estimate of 7.8 percent, the state Employment Development…

SAN DIEGO STOCKS

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MOST READ STORIES

OPINIONS BLOG

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,…

Escondido’s charter proposal needs to come with a warning label

Jun 20, 2014
In its ideal form, a charter is a constitution of a city that embodies the collective will of the people, framed by civic values and founded upon the most enduring rules of law. In its worst form, it becomes a payoff…

Escondido’s charter proposal needs to come with a warning label

Jun 20, 2014
In its ideal form, a charter is a constitution of a city that embodies the collective will of the people, framed by civic values and founded upon the most enduring rules of law. In its worst form, it becomes a payoff…

The San Diego Police Department IS corrupt. No if's, and's or but's.

Jun 20, 2014
The San Diego Police Department IS corrupt. No if's, and's or but's. By that I mean the SDPD TOLERATES police corruption -- criminal actions by police officers, and ACTIVELY covers up for misdemeanors and felonies…

California's 'cash for clunkers' program is FAR worse than disastrous, discredited federal version

Jun 18, 2014
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CALIFORNIA

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.

Perez Leads Yee by 117 Votes for Second in Controller's Race

Jun 19, 2014
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Assembly Speaker Emeritus John Perez leads State Board of Equalization member Betty Yee by 117 votes in the see-saw race for the second spot on the November ballot for state controller entering…

Poll shows 'buyers' remorse' on high-speed rail project

Oct 10, 2013
Californians are second guessing their 2008 decisions to approve a high-speed railway project that would run from the Bay Area through the Central Valley and down into Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. Seven…

Record number of Californians support marijuana legalization, survey finds

Oct 10, 2013
An initiative to legalize marijuana in California is gaining steam, based on a survey of public opinion in the state. Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Sept. 26 that the initiative could begin collecting…

Q&A with Assemblyman Rocky Chavez on Jobs, Education and a Republican Renaissance

Dec 21, 2012
Assemblyman Rocky Chavez Earlier this month, former Oceanside City Councilmember Rocky Chavez was sworn into the California State Assembly, representing the 76thAssembly District. In a contentious general election…

San Diego in top 15 counties for voter turnout

Dec 05, 2012
Fewer California voters cast their ballots in last month’s election than did in 2008, though Latino voters in San Diego were at an all-time high. Low voter turnout in the June primaries foreshadowed the 11-point drop…