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Leader Of City’s Arts Commission Resigns

Only one month into her post, Denise Montgomery is resigning as executive director of the City of San Diego’s Commission for Arts and Culture. In a brief statement sent via email, she writes:

City of San Diego

Denise Montgomery

"I wrestled with this decision out of commitment to the arts and culture community, however, I cannot in good conscience remain part of the Filner administration."

Mayor Filner is facing allegations of sexual harassment and calls for resignation.

The arts commission works with the mayor and city council to manage the city’s arts and culture program, which supports more than 100 San Diego nonprofit organizations through the Transient Occupancy Tax and manages the city's public art collection.

At a May press conference when her appointment was announced, Montgomery said “I’m thrilled I’ll be working for someone who already has demonstrated a strong commitment to arts and culture and understands the valued role of the arts in society and community life.”

Montgomery was hired after a five-month long national search. She replaced Victoria Hamilton, who founded the Arts and Culture Commission in the 1980s. Montgomery led arts programs for the city of Denver before coming to San Diego. She served as director of marketing for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Most recently, she has served as a consultant to many local arts organizations through her own consulting firm.

In an interview with Voice of San Diego, Montgomery said she was willing to return to government specifically because of Mayor Filner's commitment to the arts. "It’s pretty rare in the spectrum of elected leaders to have someone like Mayor Filner," she told VoSD. "Numerous times, I’ve seen him speak without any notes or talking points about the role of arts and culture in community and society and life, with conviction and with understanding. To me, that’s somebody that I’m really happy to have the opportunity to work for."

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 26, 2013 at 9:28 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago


One of the things I liked about Mayor Filner was that he promised to booster the arts in San Diego, something severely lacking in previous administrations.

Few cities of our size in this country spend as little as we do on the arts - the only exception being Phoenix.

Now the scandal is encroaching into our arts community.

The mayor has put into place a "fiscal conservative", unelected by the people, who I am guessing thinks art funding is a joke.

This is NOT representation by the people.

Me as well as other people who want to see the arts procured in our city voted for Mayor Filner, not the conservative Republican the mayor placed in city hall to do his job while he manages his sexual harassment scandal.

Mayor Filner - if you want to stay and fight your allegations, I'm fine with that. But once you fail to live-up to your campaign promises because the scandal is consuming you entirely, then we have a problem.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 26, 2013 at 9:31 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Ms. Montgomery has an impressive resume, and it took a long time to find her.

She could have done great things in San Diego.

This is truly, truly a disappointing loss :(

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | July 26, 2013 at 10:55 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago


Are you calling on Filner resign immediately?

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 26, 2013 at 1:02 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago



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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | July 26, 2013 at 2:19 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

This is a good move to demonstrate people unwilling to work with Filner. He has no credibility as a leader. However, people resigning their posts wll be replaced by others working for change in the mayor's office too. I'm not so certain her remaining in her post would have demonstrated her support for Filner as much as her work for the people of San Diego. There is an old saying how you can't change things from the outside.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | August 8, 2013 at 8:58 a.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

Okay, isn't this a little old by now?

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