By Todd Gloria
Interim Mayor, City of San Diego
It’s been a distracting and difficult summer for San Diegans. It was my intention to spend the summer months focused on what I cared about: improving my Council District Three neighborhoods; advocating for the Convention Center expansion; preparing for the opening of our new downtown library; and collaborating with community leaders on the Balboa Park Centennial. In July, our city was thrust into a national and international media spotlight with people all over — from Talmadge to Sacramento, from Dallas to London —shaking their heads and asking, “What is going on in San Diego?”
I assumed the office of Mayor on Aug. 30, and there’s much work to be done until a new mayor is elected. Between now and then I’m focusing my efforts in three main areas.
My first order of business is a top-down review of all city departments. I want to know what is working, what isn’t, and what our employees need to better serve our neighborhoods. And I need to make sure contracts which were previously stalled since January get signed, so critical work for this city is getting done.
My second order of business will be a restructuring of the Mayor’s staff and creating a new culture on the 11th floor where folks are excited to come to work. I want to ensure my staff is working efficiently and productively in an environment where they feel empowered and inspired to strengthen neighborhoods.
My third order of business is to vastly improve the communications coming from the Mayor’s office and city departments. When people don’t have the information they need, they’re left to their own imaginations. I don’t intend to let folks imagine what’s happening in our city. I intend to tell them. I also need to hear your ideas on how we can improve neighborhoods. To that end, I would encourage you to contact my office: 619-236-6330 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with me on Facebook and on Twitter.
I inherited a mess that I will fix. Please know, however, that during the summer’s news conferences, taped statements, and rampant Twitter chatter about what was wrong with San Diego, our city employees were working hard to provide important and necessary services we rely on to live safely and comfortably.
Looking ahead, I would ask for your patience and partnership. I know this is a tall request as the white noise of cynicism about our city’s government has become a deafening roar these past three months. I would also ask you to stay engaged and return to the polls on Nov. 19 to vote for a new mayor. San Diegans didn’t deserve the former mayor and now isn’t the time to become a spectator in our democratic process. Don’t give up on San Diego. With your patience and participation, we will remind the nation why we are America’s Finest City.