2005-01-10-Dick Murphy-'State of City' of San Diego
San Diego's 'State of City' ceremony
Although no City of San Diego elected official is a member of the Jewish
community, Mayor Dick
Murphy's State of the City message in Golden Hall on
Monday evening, Jan. 10, had a number of Jewish angles—both in what was said
and what wasn't.
It began with the introductions when, as a matter of protocol, the first two persons seated in the audience to be introduced were Congress members Bob Filner and Susan Davis, both members of the Jewish community and both important to one of the mayor's announced goals—to keep San Diego military bases off the 2005 Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) list.
Davis is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which is chaired by another congressman from San Diego County, Duncan Hunter. Filner is a high-ranking member of the House Veteran Affairs Committee, which also has influence on military decision-making.
Soon after their introductions, Deputy Mayor Michael Zucchet introduced two other members of the Jewish community, Sheriff Bill Kolender and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Murphy spoke again of Kolender during his speech when he praised the work of a joint task force headed by the sheriff and city fire chief Jeff Bowman that recommended steps the city needed to take in the wake of the disastrous October 2003 wildfires.
Besides adding equipment, including a permanent helicopter to be stationed at Montgomery Field, Murphy called for implementation of an effective brush management program in the city, where, he said, there are "900 linear miles where brush is adjacent to homes." He called for enforcement of a program requiring brush clearance within 100 feet of homes and suggested innovative approaches to thinning other brush, including use of goats.
Some may criticize
our mayor but no one 'gets his goat'
The freeze in salaries would not only save $40 million per year, but would
also cause lower pension payouts in the future, he said. He also called
for increasing the amount of money city employees contribute to their own
pensions—so that there is a 50-50 match. Such steps, he said, can prevent any
need for "massive layoffs."
Mayor Murphy also pledged continued hiring of police officers to "fight
gang violence" and to bring the police department up to full strength, to
work for more affordable housing, to keep the San Diego Chargers in San Diego on
a permanent basis, and to develop a transition program for the voter-approved
changeover to the "strong mayor" form of government.