Mayor Bob Filner announced at the January 2 San Carlos Area Council meeting that he will "take on" San Diego Gas & Electric. Filner also said that he was interviewing to hire an energy advocate to serve the public.
He made those statements while answering a resident's question about undergrounding, the burial of overhead utility lines.
San Carlos resident Rita McCrerey asked if Filner planned to look into issues such as how areas are selected for undergrounding. She said some undergrounding had been completed on part of Cowles Mountain Boulevard; instead of continuing there, work had proceeded on Madra Avenue in Del Cerro.
McCrerey, one of 50 people at the meeting at the San Carlos Library, said she was told that undergrounding was done because there was a school on Madra. However, there are three schools in her neighborhood, McCrerey said. She claimed she was told that locations were selected because "they knew someone living on the street."
She and the mayor also questioned the need for utility boxes in residential areas. Filner said he needed a memo about these issues. "SDG&E acts like a sovereign entity; they don't really support alternative energy," he said, noting that he needed information to take them on.
"I'm going to every planning group" to collect information, he said, adding that he was the only one of four mayoral candidates not supported by SDG&E "because I say things like that."