Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Guest Blog Post: An Update from Interim Mayor Todd Gloria

Todd Gloria
by Todd Gloria
Interim Mayor, City of San Diego

I’m happy to report the work in the Mayor’s office is charging full steam ahead.  My staff and all City employees are dedicated to doing the peoples’ work. They are knowledgeable professionals in their respective fields and are committed to being responsive and helpful to you.  I invite you to visit our new Mayor’s web page to communicate with me and keep abreast of what we’re working on.  Just how much can I accomplish in 81 days between when I took on this role and the November 19 election?  Visit the web site to find out, www.sandiego.gov.  Additionally, I send out e-newsletter updates about two times per month.  You may sign up on the web site or send an email to toddgloria@sandiego.gov and you’ll be placed on the list.  In the name of progress, there is much to report on.

The previous administration was criticized for its lackadaisical approach to enforcing our laws and codes consistently, which led to unfair treatment benefiting San Diegans who happened to have access to my predecessor.  As your representative, I see it as my job to modify laws that don’t make sense.  Unless and until laws can be modified, they must be enforced.  This is the current challenge I face as I work with my City Council colleagues, the City Attorney, and City staff to develop sensible code updates to allow medical marijuana dispensaries and food trucks to operate legally in ways that balance the needs of their clients and the surrounding neighborhoods.  I appreciate the input provided from passionate San Diegans on both topics, and the measures we’re developing will be publicly vetted prior to their consideration by the City Council.  It’s essential your voices are heard; my decisions are always informed by your input.

Just like your participation guides our actions at City Hall, San Diego’s interests must be well-represented in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.  I am proud that we recently re-hired lobbying firms to resume the representation of San Diego before lawmakers and influencers in our state and national capitols.  For the past nine months, San Diego has had no one at the table vying for our interests or funding, which is troubling given the looming sequestration and its potential effect on local families and businesses whose way of life is directly connected to our military economy and other federal spending.  Late last month, the City initiated a process for new lobbying contracts to ensure that, moving forward, San Diego receives the representation it deserves.  I headed to Washington, D.C. with members from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce the first week of October and met with key stakeholders to advocate for San Diego on Capitol Hill.

So what have I learned during these past few weeks as Interim Mayor?  I’ve learned I really love this job.  I love the people side of it, the consensus-building side of it, the making progress side of it.  Make no mistake, it’s a demanding job and I do my best to balance my roles as Interim Mayor, Council President and Councilmember.  But at the end of each day, it’s the people that make it great  –  diverse stakeholders coming to the table with different ideas on how we can collectively make San Diego a better place to live. This is a great gig.

 There is much work to be done between now and when a new mayor takes office.  I appreciate your continued patience and participation in these upcoming months.  As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve.

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