Lightner challenges rating on environmental report card

City News Service

Mayor Jerry Sanders received a B-plus for his positions on environmental issues, according to the 2010 Environmental Quality Report Card released Wednesday. Most members of the City Council received A and B grades, except for Sherri Lightner, who was given a C-plus, and Carl DeMaio, who got a D-plus. The grades were generally higher than last year.

The City Council members were graded on their votes on 18 environmental issues last year, while Sanders was rated for his position on them, as reflected by staff recommendations. Among the 2010 issues were potable water re-use, a habitat conservation plan for vernal pools, the seals at the Children's Pool in La Jolla, a climate mitigation plan and sustainable building plans.

Lightner said the report focuses on "subjectively selected council votes" when much of the actual work is done outside the council chamber.

"I have supported a wide range of environmental activities and issues throughout my years as a community volunteer and since taking office, and I remain committed to serving in a leadership role on the environmental issues that are important to my communities and our region," Lightner said.

Sanders got a D-minus last year in the report compiled by Strategic Community Consulting at UC San Diego on behalf of the San Diego League of Environmental Voters.

"The report card did its job and showed the public and elected officials in San Diego the job they were doing," said league board member Colin Parent, who chaired the organization's report card coalition.

The highest grade went to Donna Frye, who received an A-plus. She left the council last December.

A spokesman for DeMaio said he is also working on environmental priorities.

Staff for the councilman believe he was marked down twice on one issue and downgraded for a "not present'' vote on an item he had supported in committee. They said he would have scored around a B if his positions were tabulated correctly.

   
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