Downtown insiders have been grumbling about Mayor Bob Filner’s outlandish behavior even before he took the Oath of Office. For those that know Filner, there’s little that is surprising…aside from how it can actually get worse from week-to-week. As a member of Congress, the collateral damage he could inflict was limited given he was only 1 of 435. But now, he’s the chief executive of the 8th largest city in the nation and his complete inability to work with anyone – Republican or Democrat – has ground the city’s reform efforts to a halt.
Councilman Kevin Faulconer, thank God, has put together an impressive coalition with his four business-friendly colleagues and a sometimes-sensible-swing-vote in Council President Todd Gloria. Gloria’s addition to the coalition probably has as much to do with trying to contain Filner’s idiocy as it does a recognition that Faulconer’s team is actually trying to move the city forward in spite of an insane mayor and four bought-and-paid-for labor shills making up the rest of the council.
The events of last week – the unnecessary and capricious attack on City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s deputy, Andrew Jones, and the resignation (firing?) of Deputy Mayor Allen Jones lay bare how dysfunctional this man is. It might be time for a media outlet other than the U-T to invest a few headlines into an examination into what is going on at City Hall. KPBS and the VOSD pride themselves on their investigative journalism but apparently only as long as it involves investigating right-of-center interests. They’d contribute a lot to the civic discussion – and their credibility, if they’d take a closer look at the Filner time-bomb that is the remaining 3.5 years of his reign.
Finally, while seemingly the most sensible antidote to the Filner plague would be a recall, it is not realistic. The institutions that anchor this city need to unite in an effort to mitigate the damage this man can do or “Enron by the Sea” will be the good ol’ days.