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Controversy Over Port Commission Appointments Continues

Evening Edition

Mike McDade, a former San Diego Port Commissioner, and San Diego City Councilman Kevin Faulconer talk to KPBS about the flap at City Hall over the appointment of candidates to sit on the San Diego Port Commission.

Aired 1/22/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Mike McDade, Former San Diego Port Commissioner

Kevin Faulconer, San Diego City Councilman

Katie Orr, KPBS Metro Reporter


There's a flap at San Diego City Hall over the appointment of candidates to sit on the San Diego Port Commission.

The City Council agreed on two nominees, Democrat Rafael Castellanos, an attorney, and Republican Marshall Merrifield, a business owner. But Mayor Bob Filner vetoed those candidates and is recommending a whole new procedure for making appointments to the Port.

City Council President Todd Gloria has said he will schedule a meeting in the coming weeks to override the mayor’s veto.

The mayor outlined the reasons for the veto in a memo. He mentioned a vacancy on the City Council, a need for the city to establish a vision and policy for the Port and set minimum qualifications.

But City Councilman Kevin Faulconer said the city already has an appointment process in place that’s worked for years.

"I think we've had a process that has served our city very, very well," he told KPBS. "We have an open process where we encourage candidates to apply, they submit their resumes and the finalists are brought before City Council."

"It's a process that not only has served the city well, but served it well in this round," he added.

The Unified Port of San Diego is governed by a seven member Board of Port Commissioners. One commissioner each is appointed by the city councils of Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach and National City, and three commissioners are appointed by the San Diego City Council.

In his memo, Filner also stressed the need to make appointees accountable to the city.

But Former Port Commissioner Mike McDade says that’s not the role of a port commissioner.

“This is a state agency that has broader responsibilities,” he said.

The Port of San Diego was created by the state legislature to manage San Diego Bay and surrounding waterfront land in 1962.

Its mission is to protect the Tidelands Trust resources by providing economic vitality and community benefit through a balanced approach to maritime industry, tourism, water and land recreation, environmental stewardship and public safety.

For more on the significance of the Port of San Diego and its regional impact check out the KPBS/I-Newsource Investigation Port Authority.

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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | January 22, 2013 at 7:14 p.m. ― 4 years, 2 months ago

The Land Use, Planning, and the Associated Budget for CEQA documents and Construction for both the San Diego Unified Port District and the San Diego Regional Airport Authority should be moved to SANDAG our official regional State-Mandated Metropolitan Planning Orginization (MPO). Right now Taxpayers are paying for 3 Regional Planning Administration, instead of just one MPO (SANDAG) preferred by the Feds and the State.

The Port District and Airport Authority would remain to protect our State Public Trust lands, ongoing maintenance, Policing Authority, and daily operations.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | January 22, 2013 at 10:48 p.m. ― 4 years, 2 months ago

For far too long the Port of San Diego has worked with $BILLIONS of our tax dollars in the shadows, behind the scenes, making kings out of various local land-developers. The email scandals showing how local developers have the private email addresses of our Port Commissioners, and the implication of back-room-deals, influence, corruption, and worse are more than reason to make the selection process transparent and public. Thanks to San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, we may actually know the names of our representatives for the first time ever. I've met 5 city council members, I've spoken with them at local meetings, and even spent time with the Mayor on occasion, but I worked for the Port of San Diego, in Human Resources, for over a year, and I've never met a Port Commissioner.

( | suggest removal )