Competence and an ability to work effectively with others were the overriding issues as the La Jolla Light considered candidate endorsements for the June San Diego City elections.
The city - still trying to disentangle itself from a host of financial and legal problems - badly needs solid leaders who can work together for the common good.
With these criteria in mind, we make the following endorsements for city offices:
For Mayor - Jerry SandersSanders has brought a steady hand to city government in difficult times. His presence atop the new “strong mayor” system has helped set a collegial and problem-solving tone for city government.
The city has regained a positive bond rating and is moving toward sound fiscal policies across the spectrum.
Sanders is a public servant who reaches out to all segments of the community in seeking to solve problems. No competitor in the race can match him for experience, proven judgment and steadiness in leading the city out of troubled times.
For District One Council Member - Phil ThalheimerIn this race, voters are faced with a field of strong candidates.
Marshall Merrifield is an experienced business and financial leader who shows an understanding of innovation and municipal finance. Sherri Lightner is a knowledgeable and determined activist who vows to stand up for the people.
Phil Thalheimer, however, possesses the most attractive mix of business acumen and city government experience. He is a former city insider who now, after years running his own business, has the perspective of an outsider.
An ardent supporter of managed competition, Thalheimer is also appreciative and knowledgeable about the role of city workers. Sacrifices will certainly be asked of city workers in the coming years. Thalheimer will be tough enough to ask for those sacrifices and fair enough not to ask for more than is needed.
On the council he will be an asset as the mayor’s reform program continues.
For City Attorney - Jan GoldsmithThe City of San Diego needs to hire the best attorney it can get. Jan Goldsmith, a lawyer’s lawyer, offers the city a remarkable opportunity. He has run a law firm, led a city and served as a Superior Court Judge.
He will be able to offer high-quality legal advice to city leaders without becoming embroiled in policy battles. But much more important than that, he will be able to rebuild an ailing city attorney’s office.
That office is essentially the city’s law firm, and at the moment it is not adequate. Goldsmith will be able to attract seasoned and competent attorneys, he will mentor the young attorneys already in the office, and he will organize the office professionally.
At a time when the city badly needs the best legal representation it can get, Goldsmith is an easy choice.