So many people gettin' busy, so little room to mention them all. Well, we can squeeze in a few more, but not for the usual reasons:
WHO'S GETTIN' BUSY REWRITING ETHICS RULES-City Councilmember Ralphie Inzunza Jr. is not only busy playing foot soldier for Mayor “10Goals” Murphy, he's bustin' his hump to make sure new campaign-auditing rules in the works for the city's Ethics Commission go only so far. New language Inzunza has insisted on would, among other things, set July 1, 2001 as a cut-off date for auditing campaign activities. The District 8 councilmember, who took office after winning a special election in early 2001, now sits with 10Goals on the council's Rules, Finance and Intergovernmental Relations Committee (say that 10 times fast), which is set to adopt the revisions Jan. 29.
At least one city observer smells a mayoral wannabe striking a family-man pose and trying to distance himself from past contributors: “What's Ralph scared of? Could it be he doesn't want anyone looking at the 18 $250 contributions from Las Vegas that occurred in June 2001? If this were audited, would these people admit that Mike Galardi, owner of Cheetah's and other strip clubs, inspired them to give to a San Diego councilman they never heard of?”
WHO'S GETTIN' BUSY ACTING BUSY-Jennifer LeSar, for most San Diegans, is not a household name. But since her appointment out of the blue to the Centre City Development Corp. board in September, her new position with an agency that is actually making money in town gets people to look up and notice.
Appointed by the City Council to replace longtime CCDC denizen Peter Q. Davis (who moved over to the Port Commission), LeSar popped up with impressive credentials-she manages Bank of America's portfolio of real estate developments in Southern California and serves on several community boards-but it remains to be seen how her professional occupation can be reconciled on a board that does major business with her employer. In coming battles over more creative affordable housing solutions, votes to abstain won't help matters. Perhaps her close friend and affordable-housing advocate, City Councilmember Toni Atkins, has some sage advice.
WHO'S GETTIN' BUSY WATCHING MAYORAL POTENTIAL DWINDLE-Poor Ron Roberts. Now a county supervisor, Roberts has had a hard time getting over his 2000 mayoral-election loss to “10Goals” Murphy. He's even been seen sniping at the mayor at one regional meeting.
But word he received from the city's Ethics Commission late last week must just crumple his lapels and fragile psyche. The commission, in essence, told Roberts to pay his still-outstanding debts of more than $35,000 from the mayor's race by June 30 or face more than double that in fines. Roberts has paid off another $23,000 in debts since the commission began its investigation a year ago, but it's gonna be a thrifty spring for the supervisor. And as far as running for mayor again, let's just file that under “diminishing returns” for the time being.
WHO'S GETTIN' BUSY TRYING TO FIGURE OUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TOXIC DUMPSITE AND A HOLE IN THE GROUND-If there is an anti-development god, he/she is certainly working overtime throwing monkey wrenches into redevelopment plans over at the nearly unrecognizable old Naval Training Center, which now goes by the schlocky name of Liberty Station (come to think of it, it's surprising Cheetah's hasn't put in a bid to set up shop somewhere on the property, with that name).
But the rumors that have rumbled through local environmental groups came to a burbling head this week when base developer Corky McMillin Companies copped to what prospective homebuyers had been told months before-that discovery of a 4-acre stretch of the planned development site sits on an old trash-burn site containing numerous toxic substances, including arsenic, mercury, other heavy metals and asbestos.
The Navy, McMillin and the county are said to be working feverishly to clean up the site, but questions linger. Most notably for many: after stack upon stack of studies on this former military base, how come this discovery seemed to take these supposed experts by surprise-and what else is lurking below the surface?
WHO'S GETTIN' BUSY POLISHING A TARNISHED IMAGE-When it comes to Councilmember Scott Peters, a common reaction seems to be “Who?” The District 1 representative, elected in 2000, is a Democrat who ran on a pretty environmentally friendly platform, even though by profession he's a former County Counsel-turned-corporate attorney. Well, now Peters faces talk of a recall campaign, and La Jolla's grumbling about seceding from San Diego. Seems his votes on recent projects, including a controversial parking garage and a large coastal condo complex, have rankled more than a few constituents. Privately, even his supporters from the past wonder what he's all about. “He has taken on the airs of royalty,” says one wavering backer. “He's very condescending to the public and removed from contact.” Maybe a bit better attendance at community meetings would be a good start.