San Diego Mayor’s one-year anniversary
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – On Wednesday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer officially started his second year in office. He inherited a city turmoil, but ended his first year enjoying wide-spread public support.
His success was bringing stability to City Hall after the chaos of Bob Filner months as mayor, and Faulconer’s ratings is in the sixties.
Although just a year in office, there is evidence the mayor is keeping campaign promises.
The city is becoming more unified, confidence in government is growing, and so is optimism about the future.
Political Consultant John Dadian said, “Leadership starts at the top, and that’s the best thing that he’s brought to this office. It’s the appearance that he’s leading the city and not just running the city.”
John Dadian’s counterpart, Tom Shepard agrees. The mayor is extremely popular with the voters.
“That’s a good place to be when you’re a year, or a little more than a year out from your re-election,” said Shepard.
But on the issues, these two consultants have different takes.
Mayor Faulconer faced three urgent issues, besides stability, when he came to office.
Three billion dollars in infrastructure needs, the stadium issue, and the Convention Center expansion.
“I think the record is somewhat mixed on progress on all three of those. The Convention Center expansion has been basically twisting in the wind ever since the court threw out the financing, and it can twist only so much longer,” said Shepard.
“He’s trying to work with a monolith, the byzantine system we’ve got, especially with the courts being involved,” said Dadian.
On infrastructure, it is common knowledge the city does not have enough money for infrastructure needs. Shepard feels the Mayor shifted that issue to the Council’s Infrastructure Committee, Chairman Mark Kersey.
“Faulconer has appeared to be very reluctant to engage in that. I guess because he doesn’t want to be associated with any kind of revenue generating measure at the same time his name may be on the ballot,” said Shepard.
Dadian said, “Mark Kersey took the lead on this early on. The mayor’s letting him get all the attention on that because Kersey’s actually getting something done, and getting something done means it reflects good on the mayor’s office, and it reflects good on the city.”
Then, there is the stadium issue, an issue that could be a damaging issue for the mayor.
“The stadium issue may be the only one, the big one, that may be the mayor’s Achilles heel,” said Dadian.
Shepard said, “The difficult position he’s in is, if they come up with a deal there are those who are going to question whether there’s too much of a commitment of city resources to it, or it’s not a good deal for taxpayers.”
On the other hand, if the deal is not sweet enough for the Chargers, the mayor will be the guy tagged with losing the team.