July 26 2013 12:00 AM

Council member asks for policy review

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Mayor Bob Filner at today's press conference
Photo by Kelly Davis
Amid sexual harassment allegations against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, city leaders are taking a close look at flaws in the city's recall law.  

Despite Filner's vow to enter treatment at a packed press conference today, opponents have pledged to move forward with a recall effort.

La Jolla land-use attorney Michael Pallamary says he'll kick off his recall campaign in earnest on Monday and LGBT Weekly publisher Stampp Corbin, an ally of the mayor, published a notice of his intent to circulate a petition, Voice of San Diego reported, apparently to thwart other recall efforts. Petitioners would have 39 days to collect 101,596 signatures, with an additional 30-day extension should they fall short.

But, in May, VoSD raised questions about the constitutionality of the city's recall-election rules. As Zachary Warma wrote:
The city's Municipal Code, which lays out the rules for the process, contains what could be a key flaw. Chapter 2, Article 7, Section 27.2726 of the law, states, under a heading "Validity of Votes Cast," "No vote cast for a candidate shall be counted unless the voter also voted on the recall question."
Basically, if you want to vote for a new official to replace the booted one, you have to have also voted on whether to recall the official in the first place.
That provision could spell trouble for the city-a federal court has already struck down a similar statewide rule.

The City Attorney and City Clerk have been reviewing the law. And, today, City Councilmember Mark Kersey sent a memo to City Council President Todd Gloria urging expediency.

"Given the events of the past few weeks and the strong possibility of a recall petition's being circulated, we have an obligation to reconcile our Municipal Code with state law," Kersey wrote.  

In the memo, Kersey asks Gloria to docket the matter at the next council meeting. A spokesperson for Gloria told CityBeat that September is the soonest this could happen. The council has two more meetings scheduled before going on recess in August.

Update: In a memo this afternoon, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith says San Diego's recall law "would be found unconstitutional if challenged in court" and that it should be "promptly" repealed. 

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28