Mayor Bob Filner has vetoed the appointments to the Port Commission made by the San Diego City Council.
In a memo released this afternoon, the mayor outlined several reasons for the change, including finding a representative from District Four to weigh in on the appointment.
He also wants to hold a workshop to discuss the city's vision for the waterfront.
The mayor compared the City Council's appointment process to a "popularity or personality contest” and said the selection process used by the council was “flawed.”
“The City Council’s policies and procedures do not ‘establish a method of ensuring the accountability of our appointed Commissioners.’ There are no minimum qualifications; a common application; a review and screening process; a transparent voting procedure; or mandated reporting requirements,” Mayor Filner stated in his memo.
“The Port District plays a vital role in our community and is central to the economic and cultural success of our region,” the Mayor said. “We need to have a vision of the Port that these Commissioners can carry out.”
Local leaders wasted no time reacting to Filner’s decision to veto the City Council’s two Port Commission appointments.
Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Kevin Faulconer both announced they are going make plans to 'override' the Mayor’s veto.
"I'm proud to have cast a bipartisan vote for two Port Commissioners who will protect and promote San Diego's environment, economy, shoreline and bay,” said Councilman Faulconer. “Leaving two of San Diego’s three Port Commission seats vacant is a disservice to San Diego citizens. San Diegans deserve full representation at the Port now, so I will be voting to override the Mayor's veto."
Meanwhile, Councilmember Gloria had this to say in a statement released Friday evening:
“After the State of the City address where the Mayor stressed the importance of the Port to our economic future, he appears to want to leave the City of San Diego unrepresented on the Port Commission for the foreseeable future. I maintain my belief that both Rafael Castellanos and Marshall Merrifield would serve San Diego’s interests well, and will schedule a hearing for the City Council to consider overriding the veto, as the law requires.”
Councilmember Scott Sherman also spoke out publicly in regards to Filner’s decision Friday evening.
“I was disappointed to learn from media reports this afternoon that Mayor Bob Filner vetoed two outstanding appointees to the San Diego Port Commission,” said Sherman. “These two moderate, diverse, well-qualified candidates were supported by a majority of the Council and nominated by both Republicans and Democrats. The Port of San Diego is too important to our regional economy to be held up by partisan, Washington-style political games.”
So far, Filner has not responded to the remarks made by the three councilmembers.