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Goldsmith Hopes To ‘Give Stability In The Midst Of Change’

Video by Nicholas Mcvicker

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith talks to KPBS about his next term.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who ran unopposed for re-election this year, said he is preparing to help the city of San Diego through some big changes, including a new mayor, a new council district and two new voter-approved propositions.

"The city’s going to have a little choppy period of time," he said. "I want to give stability in the midst of change."

Goldsmith said his role as city attorney is like "no other job in my profession." He said he serves as a criminal prosecutor, the city’s lawyer and also advises the city.

While labor unions have argued Goldsmith has taken political positions on some city issues, including Proposition B to end pensions for new city employees, Goldsmith said that's not the case.

"Don’t confuse a high profile stance and doing our job in a firm way with the policy decision," he said.

Goldsmith said he doesn't set the city's policy priorities, like whether to expand the Convention Center, but instead works to guide city leaders. Goldsmith told KPBS in February that the legality of a hotel tax to fund the expansion is "uncertain."

"We don’t determine the policy priorities. If (city leaders) want to pursue gung-ho a Convention Center, we’re going to try to guide them and advise the city," he said. "The same thing with the Chargers stadium."

Goldsmith said Proposition B, as well as Proposition A to ban project labor agreements, are different because they were approved by voters.

"There I have an obligation to defend it and do our very best to implement it the way it’s written," he said.

He said he keeps his personal opinions on issues like medical marijuana and Prop B quiet.

"I was real quiet during the election (about Prop B) and the people spoke," he said.

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