Not even the most die-hard Bob Filner loyalists claim the achievements during his tumultuous nine months as San Diego’s mayor that ended Friday with his resignation were greater than the failures and misdeeds: the hostile treatment of women, the inattention to large-scale policy issues; the bullying, confrontational style; a chaotic approach to management.
Join us at 9 a.m. when we talk with Times reporter Tony Perry about what San Diegans are left with in Filner’s wake, and who is vying to replace him as mayor.
The candidates to replace him in the Nov. 19 special election will probably not admit it, but they will end up pledging to continue some of Filner’s initiatives.
When he was on his game, the 70-year-old Filner, the first Democrat elected mayor of San Diego in two decades, could be decisive and unafraid to wade into issues that risk-averse politicians avoid, even if his moves were never universally applauded.
He ordered the controversial red-light cameras removed from intersections. He called for a more tolerant attitude toward medical marijuana dispensaries. He negotiated a five-year labor agreement with city employees, ending a decade of labor-management strife.
He ordered cars removed from the heart of Balboa Park. He hired a planning director to revitalize the city's commitment to "livable" neighborhoods and talked about making San Diego a more bike-friendly city.
Once a month, he met with individual citizens, many from lower-income neighborhoods, and pledged to wield his "strong mayor" powers to address their grievances, including zoning problems, barking dogs and questionable police practices.
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