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City Council To Consider Whether To Override Filner's Port Vetoes

The San Diego City Council will consider Monday whether to override mayoral vetoes of appointments of two representatives to the Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners, according to agendas

The council members, at a Jan. 7 meeting, chose lawyer Rafael Castellanos and businessman Marshall Merrifield out of a field of six candidates to join the governing authority over San Diego's bay and waterfront operations.

Mayor Bob Filner subsequently vetoed the appointments, objecting to what he called a flawed process of selecting the candidates and for making selections before determining a new city policy for the port.


Filner, who made the port a centerpiece for his job creation plans during last year's campaign, said the main flaw in the process was choosing representatives while the council's District 4 seat was unfilled -- in the wake of Tony Young's resignation.

Supporters of Castellanos and Merrifield need to collect six City Council votes to override the vetoes, according to city documents. Councilmen Kevin Faulconer and Scott Sherman have said they support the override effort.

City Council President Todd Gloria expressed support for the nominees and scheduled to override vote, but has not indicated which way he would vote.

Their colleague David Alvarez, who nominated Castellanos and spoke out on his behalf, later said he shared the mayor's concerns over the appointment process.

"I raised numerous questions on and before the public hearing about the process which occurred with these appointments and I look forward to clarifying procedure for future appointments,'' Alvarez said after the vetoes were announced. "We owe a fair, transparent and orderly nomination process to each council member, the port nominees and the public we serve."


Whoever ends up on the board will replace ex-Commissioners Lee Burdick, who is now on Filner's staff, and Scott Peters, who was elected to Congress.