Our local transit system and how it compares with other cities has spurred a lot of comments in the past few weeks, including one highlighted below. Readers also weigh in on Mayor Bob Filner’s continuing sexual harassment scandal and the demise of the local Film Commission.
• Mike Richards on “How San Diego’s Transit System Stacks Up Nationally, in Four Charts“:
What these graphics show is true both in San Diego and California in general. We spend too much time and money to provide a service that the vast super majority of persons don’t want or won’t use unless its a temporary solution. One example is there is a higher bang for the buck in “carpooling” than using public transportation. For the amount of money spent to build out light rail or the stupid bus rapid transit, we could provide van pools for a lot less money and a smaller workforce on the public dole. San Diego will never have a ridership above 8 to 10 percent even if they could offer 24/7 service, which they don’t. Provide services direct from the housing areas to work areas without having to go to downtown first. And get the cost down to reasonable levels. Under current “union mandates” this will never happen because the workers tell the employer when and where they work rather than the other way around. When it takes over 1 1/2 hours to get from say Lemon Grove to the businesses in Miramar with a minimum of two transfers and assuming you don’t waste 15-30 minutes waiting for next leg of trip, no one will give up their personal transportation mode to sit in traffic with buses. Even at today’s cost of gasoline, insurance and maintenance, it costs less than subsidized bus and light rail. …We could all buy a hybrid or electric vehicle for less money.
• Julie Wright on “The Film Commission’s Big Cliffhanger“:
It is very shortsighted to eliminate the San Diego Film Commission and its modest budget — more fallout from Bob Filner’s poor stewardship of San Diego. While a Film Commission sounds glamorous, this small staff carried out a lot of important functions — marketing the city and interesting film locations, helping film companies navigate permit processes and logistics including hotels, and solving the inevitable problems as they arise. A great deal of behind-the-scenes work … Attracting popular films and television shows — and sometimes even commercials — to San Diego also helps to attract visitors — another important San Diego function where the fallout from Filner’s thoughtless refusal to sign the funding authorization has had consequences not just now but into the future. When I was California secretary of trade and commerce, both the state film commission and tourism marketing were my responsibility. Competition from other states and regions — often far better funded — was intense. If you don’t think we will pay an economic price for Filner’s moves, you are sadly mistaken. Just ask the local businesses — many of them quite small — that have already been impacted.
Kudos to Carolyn Wormser for trying to step in to help filmmakers, but the real answer is to fund both the Film Commission and the Tourism Authority immediately.
• Andrew Poat on “$25K City Consultant Job Includes Mayoral ‘Coaching’“:
Thank you for your welcome focus on the mechanics of how San Diego city government works. I have long thought that the first thing I would do if elected mayor or city manager would be to call in some people with experience running the White House to understand how they manage a team of highly visible people (president, vice president and Cabinet members) to coordinate goals, strategy and message across areas as diverse as economic performance and development, defense and global security and environment. The mayor’s office is still in transition to realize the “strong mayor” format voters adopted several years ago. While I appreciate business consultants such as the one referenced in your article, I can say from personal experience in the office of California’s governor that running an executive branch of government is a far different set of circumstances than those applied to a typical business. This is about institution building – something the county has done well — and that I hope Walt Ekard can accomplish during his stay with the city. Bringing in someone with experience at the White House or Pentagon coordination offices would be my suggested next step.
• Glenn Younger on “Potential Filner Replacement Depends on the Ouster“:
With a recall we will learn about the leadership and management of the two parties. If a party can field one candidate, they could win. If there are multiple candidates from one party, that party will lose.
The deeper bench for local Democrats spells trouble if more than one of them want to run.
The real majority in San Diego is made up of moderate Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans. Whatever party figures that out and can manage their candidates has the best shot at winning the mayor’s office in a recall election.
The ideologues won last time; not sure voters will let that happen again.
• David Packham on “Locks Changed, Mayor’s Back, Council Unites Against Him“:
I’ve lived here 29 years, arrived in 1984 via the U.S. Navy, as did many others, and watched as San Diego went from being a very pleasant and exciting city under Maureen O’Connor to absolute purgatory under most of her successors. When Bob was running, I had hopes of recapturing the place I fell in love with nearly three decades ago, but with the recent controversy, I’m disillusioned at best.
Comment excerpts have been lightly edited. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us here.