Bonus Podcast: Mara Elliott's Evolving View of the City Attorney Role - Voice of San Diego

Politics

Bonus Podcast: Mara Elliott's Evolving View of the City Attorney Role

City Attorney Mara Elliott, who’s running for re-election, discussed what changed from the time when she used to think the city attorney should be apolitical to now, where she has taken many controversial stands and maintained a spotlight throughout her tenure.

City Attorney Mara Elliott / Photo by Megan Wood

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott came in to do an interview for the Voice of San Diego podcast when she first started running for the job in 2015.

She never came back.

Until now.

Elliott sat down with me and discussed what changed for her, from the time when she used to think the city attorney should be more like the unelected, apolitical county counsel to now, where she has taken many controversial stands and maintained a spotlight throughout her tenure.

“I think I’m coming in, I had probably a very innocent perspective of what the job was,” she said. “My relationship, whether I wanted it to be or not, is directly with the Council and they’re all elected. And then you have an elected mayor. So even if I wanted to try to say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to be on the front of this issue,’ I always get pulled in to the big issues. That’s part of the job, and I don’t know that I really saw that that was going to happen. That was an eye-opening experience.”

We also discussed how she has handled the Mission Valley stadium deal with SDSU – and why, in particular, she gave up her fight to prove the whole thing was illegal. And I asked her to explain her decision-making behind her failed effort to overhaul the California Public Records Act.

Elliott is running for re-election.

Cory Briggs, who is also running, did not respond to multiple interview requests.

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