San Diego City Leaders Improve On Environmental Report Card
Eleven San Diego environmental groups say Mayor Jerry Sanders and the San Diego City Council showed improvement in 2010 over 2009 regarding votes taken on environmental issues.
"For the most part, the mayor and city council got it right last year," said Gabe Solmer with San Diego Coastkeeper.
The San Diego League of Conservation Voters and 10 other environmental groups based the Environmental Quality Report Card on decisions made in 2010 relating to environmental health.
Solmer said the Mayor and six city council members received B or higher grades.
"The only one in the 'C' range was Sherri Lightner and the only one with a failing grade was Carl DeMaio," said Solmer
DeMaio received a D+.
DeMaio's office issued this written response to the grade:
"Councilmember DeMaio is fighting for environmental priorities that matter to San Diegans, such as eliminating fees on solar energy project, attracting Clean Tech jobs to our region, and reforming the city's high water rates to encourage water conservation."
At the top of the class was former City Councilwoman Donna Frye with an A+
"The grades have absolutely improved for 2010," said Solmer. "And we think that politicians are paying attention. They're also realizing it's not so politically painful to do the right thing and protect our environment."
The grades were based on 18 votes in four key areas: water quality, habitat, green energy and land use.
Solmer said while the council and Mayor got mostly positive marks, there were some negatives.
She said a majority of the council was marked down for their votes on a plan that sidestepped a court order that protected San Diego's vernal pools.
Solmer said the pools are an extremely scarce wetland habitat type.
She said the groups will monitor key votes in 2011.
Solmer also said the elected officials can help their grades this year by preserving the city's remaining vernal pools, reducing the city's carbon emissions and protecting water quality among other issues.