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The City Attorney's office has issued a memo detailing the powers, or lack of, held by San Diego's interim mayor Todd Gloria.

The August 29 memo explains the powers as laid out in the city charter.

“During the time when an appointment or election is pending to fill a vacancy in the Office of the Mayor.” In general, the Council President has authority to:

?(1) Supervise the staff remaining in the Office of the Mayor.

(2) Direct the City Manager in managing those affairs of the City that are under the purview of the Mayor.

(3) Exercise other powers of the Mayor when required by law, including circumstances where the expeditious approval of a legislative action is necessary to meet a legal requirement imposed by a court or another governmental agency.

The Council President’s authority is described as “limited” and does not include the power of veto or any other discretionary privilege enjoyed by the Mayor. During this time, the Council President does not lose his or her rights as a Councilmember."

It is that last paragraph that has some North Park residents up in arms.

Within minutes of taking office, interim mayor Gloria used his discretion to rescind a last-minute stop-use order against the North Park Jack in the Box issued by former mayor Bob Filner.

Even before any allegations of harassment, Filner had sided with the residents of North Park in their fight against what they believe was an attempt to get around zoning laws. Later, as the mayor was buried under allegations of sexual harassment, Filner's Chief of Staff Lee Burdick expressed frustration at the fast-food chain's reluctance to obey zoning laws.

"The more we look into the processing of this application, the more frustrating it is for us and, I am sure, for you and your neighbors," reads an August 1 letter from Mayor Bob Filner's Chief of Staff, Lee Burdick.

"The Mayor directed the issuance of a stop-­work order on this project precisely because the City Attorney had opined that the process used to issue the permits was inconsistent with the City’s Land Development Code (“LDC”). However, under the LDC, a stop-‐work order must be approved by the City Attorney’s Office (“CAO”) before it can issue. After the Development Service Department forwarded the Mayor’s request for a stop‐work order to the CAO for review and approval, the City Attorney advised that Jack‐in‐the‐box was too far along in the construction, the company would likely sue the City if we stopped the development, and they very well might win."

But once construction ended, Filner made a last ditch effort to resolve the issue.

That didn't fly with the interim mayor.

“While Filner was Mayor, his staff approved the permit for the renovations on Jack in the Box in North Park. Before leaving office for the final time today, Filner issued a Stop Use Order to Jack in the Box for the same project that he had approved," a statement which appears to contradict those given by Burdick as well as Development Services employee Tom Tomlinson.

But even if Gloria is correct that Filner erred by issuing the permits, he still doesn't address how he is able to use discretionary powers despite not having discretionary powers to use.

The August 29 memo from the city Attorney's Office goes into further details describing the role of interim mayor as a "caretaker" until a duly elected mayor takes office.

"Taken as a whole, by ensuring that the day-to-day administrative functions and legally necessary acts are covered but otherwise limiting the transfer of the Mayor’s veto and high-level decision-making (discretionary) powers, the Charter creates in the Council President the role of a caretaker, ensuring that the City continues to function unimpeded during the temporary vacancy. Thus, the Charter conveys broad authority to the Council President when it comes to managing the affairs of the City, but limits the authority to exercise the Mayor’s other discretionary powers to those instances when it is “required by law.”

”Said another way, under the Charter, the Council President may exercise the Mayor’s authority to approve a resolution or ordinance when the exercise of that power cannot wait because of a legal deadline."

One possible loophole for Gloria, according to the memo: "the Council President is empowered to act in place of the Mayor when the situation cannot wait for the election of the new Mayor, and when a failure to act would place the City at a legal disadvantage."

In fact, the stop-use order could result in a potential lawsuit from Jack in the Box. That disadvantage is wiped out when taking into consideration that the City is already fighting a lawsuit from residents. Of course, that logic begs the question as to why the City would prefer to fight against the residents as opposed to defending them.

I am waiting to hear back from the City Attorney's Office for an explanation. The story will be updated when that occurs.


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HonestGovernment Aug. 31, 2013 @ 4:43 p.m.

Excellent report. Goldsmith has previously fought against the people of his country, his county, and his city, because of his ideological bent. Gloria's ideology is not obvious; the driving force for him is of another form.


TimMeese Aug. 31, 2013 @ 6:53 p.m.

Ex-Mayor, Bob Filner started the feud between himself and City Attorney, Jan Goldsmith. As far as I am concerned, Jan Goldsmith has attempted to remain "above the fray" and not in "the gutter" which Bob Filner was baiting him to do so. As for Interim Mayor, Todd Gloria, I believe that the "driving force" for him is to regain the confidence of the residents of San Diego in there elected leaders.


Founder Sept. 1, 2013 @ 3:50 p.m.

@TM RE: the "driving force" for him is to regain the confidence of the residents of San Diego in there elected leaders.

Todd has done just the opposite...


TimMeese Aug. 31, 2013 @ 6:30 p.m.

Yes, I believe that Todd Gloria as the Interim Mayor does have the authority to rescind the "Stop Work Order" issued by Bob Filner. Bob Filner issued the "Stop Work Order" only as a spiteful, unethical and possibly illegal way to get back at the citizens of San Diego. Bob Filner was not a "business friendly" Mayor and this whole issue could have resolved if Filner's Administration had made attempts to engage Jack in the Box and North Park residents to come up with a compromise regarding the Drive Thru. Todd Gloria did the right thing by rescinding the 'Stop Work Order" indicating that he will address the issue of what the City's Zoning & Building Code regulations were understood by both parties. In the mean time, Jack in the Box should be allowed to complete the remodel.


Frederick Simson Aug. 31, 2013 @ 7:46 p.m.

Bob Filner issued the "Stop Work Order" to get back at the Large Corporation who was ramming an unwanted and illegal drive-thru down the citizens' throats. A "Business Friendly" politician is a bought-and-paid-for puppet of the big money developers, and Bob tried to stop the continuous selling of the city out from under the people who live in the neighborhood. This was NOT a "remodel" in any sense of the word, it is a blatant bait-and-switch of the purpose of the permit.


TimMeese Aug. 31, 2013 @ 8:40 p.m.

It seems to me that this whole issue could have been dealt with by the Filner Administration by working with the residents of North Park and Jack in the Box in a more timely and efficient way. These types of disputes always come up in Cities where you have "mixed-use" zoning issues, along with "grandfathered" permits. I am not saying that the residents of North Park did not have some legitimate issues, but it appears that this was mismanaged by the Mayor's Office from the very beginning. The proper City Officials should work with the residents and Jack in the Box to address the cleanliness and noise issues, as well as, the hours of operation for the drive-thru.


KLoEditor Sept. 1, 2013 @ 3:37 a.m.

@Tim Meese, If it appears that way to you, then you haven't been following this issue at all.

In any case, the OP has more to do with the Toad's authority to rescind the Real Mayor's order. I indeed wonder whether he also had the authority to fire the Real Mayor's staff, in particular before the Real Mayor's resignation was in effect. Details, details, as Don said on the other thread about it.

Of course the Temporary Toad's out will be that he had to because he was "required by law." Get ready to hear that excuse used for everything he wants to do, including putting Jacobs Folly back on the agenda. The question here isn't whether the Toad will try it on because he surely will grab for all the power he can, the question is whether the City Attorney will do more than just send him a memo telling him whose boss. Bob Filner never stood for that from Goldpelt, but Bob was the duly elected strong mayor; I seriously doubt the Toad will let Goldpelt pee in his cornflakes, even if he is just a seat warmer. One battle ended, another begins.


TimMeese Sept. 1, 2013 @ 7:12 p.m.

@KLoEditor, don't you mean "that Bob was the duly elected sexual harasser"?


KLoEditor Sept. 2, 2013 @ 12:08 p.m.

If you can't read plain English, don't post, it's a waste of everyone's time.


rosijoni Sept. 1, 2013 @ 8:13 p.m.

I'm not convinced that the former mayor deliberately issued the "stop work order" in order to put Todd Gloria in the worst possible light. I'm neutral on the drive-thru; don't live near it, don't use it, feel sorry for those who do (live near it) but they did their homes directly adjacent to a very busy intersection. I also feel badly for the people whose houses are affected by the extreme lighting; that is an issue that needs to be addressed. However, I think Mr. Filner did this on purpose, knowing their would be instantaneous hatred for Mr. Gloria for doing exactly what he did. A good title could be "divine retribution."


BlueSouthPark Aug. 31, 2013 @ 6:57 p.m.

Well, "started the feud" is the first misguided idea. Walked into the hate is more like it. Whatever. Carry on the hate. Won't change reality. So, NO. Believe all you want. Won't change reality. And this is between TG, JG, and the people. BF is gone.


Yankeedoodle Aug. 31, 2013 @ 8 p.m.


Excellent article. I think you meant "raises the question" near the end of your report, as 'begging the question' is a logical fallacy. You make a good point that the ostensible reason to let the illegal structure be completed without modification -- to avoid a lawsuit -- is most likely sophistry.


Scott Marks Aug. 31, 2013 @ 9:31 p.m.

What a bunch of schifosi! Keep using the truth as a cudgel and chip away, Dorian.


anniej Sept. 1, 2013 @ 7:55 a.m.

Guess a 'temporary' can step into office and rescind a directive given by his legally voted in predecessor however I am thinking a different action might have been taken. Perhaps open the entire issue up for review which would include the regulations for this permit. HOWEVER!

With the many issues San Diego is facing I am troubled this one was brought to the front burner by Mr. Gloria. Favor now owed? Hmmmmm


ghillguy Sept. 1, 2013 @ 9:20 a.m.

This is in line with Gloria's infamous history with the Golden Hill maintenance assessment district. While first running for city council, he told me he opposed it. Then he was instrumental in allowing the city to vote illegally (and disproportionately) for it. It barely passed. The double taxation was eventually overturned by the courts after years of pro bono work by a neighborhood attorney. Gloria fought against the neighborhood the whole way, then fought the issuance of refunds to property owners, delaying the process just long enough they didn't have to issue refunds for the first year of the MAD, after a statute of limitations kicked in. This latest shenanigan with Jack in the Box exceeds his authority as interim mayor and once again is going to cost the city millions in lawsuits from residents of South Park/Golden Hill. Meanwhile, more condos pop up on every corner, with less street parking, hurting neighborhood businesses. It's a bad recipe for the future, and Gloria is solidly behind the wrong-headed process, all the while touting his pro-neighborhood stance. He has his eyes beyond San Diego, perhaps to the state legislature, but will hurt San Diego just like he hurt South Park.


Yankeedoodle Sept. 1, 2013 @ 3:45 p.m.

Ghillguy: In regard to condos, I have nothing against them if the conversions do not beg for and receive waivers for every rule or regulation that would cost the owner money. Certainly the condos across from Jack, on Upas and 30th, were considered a boon to the neighborhood if they came with their own parking. How did it get approved with one parking space per condo unit, viz 27, and zero parking spaces for the businesses? I would be very very surprised if the North Park planners sent that recommendation downtown. I would suspect that North Park said more parking, and as usual the City Council ignored them. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on that point, for I do not know for sure.

Perhaps the City can claim the Jack lot as public, since they are illegal anyhow, and all the local patrons can park there for free. Quid pro quo.


monaghan Sept. 1, 2013 @ 10:52 a.m.

Slimy Todd Gloria oversteps in this lightning strike to undo an action of the duly-elected former Mayor of the city. He is supposed to be a caretaker, a bench-warmer -- and is also an opportunist and a liar, as documented by ghillguy above.

Gloria needs to back off. He harms his future elective prospects by these overt accommodations to developers and business. Voters don't forget when they have been betrayed -- in this case, twice.


Yankeedoodle Sept. 1, 2013 @ 3:29 p.m.

Monaghan: I wonder if Gloria is gambling that he won't have to please those neighborhoods, because he hopes to be mayor. After all, it sounds as though he has irked the South Park/Golden Hill voters, and with his help Jack-in-the-Box has gotten away with an illegal build in North Park, on Upas. Those are big neighborhoods that he has baldly two-timed. He may be burning his bridges with this stop-use rescission. There must be something on the other side that looks like home.


Yankeedoodle Sept. 3, 2013 @ 9:19 p.m.

Apparently he is just gambling on people either not knowing, not caring or having short attention spans. In that, he may be on safe ground.


Founder Sept. 1, 2013 @ 3:44 p.m.

Yes, many are now talking about Todd Gloria's failure to represent the wishes of all those that voted for him, while instead seeking favor from Big Business!

TG + JIB Are Anti-CD3


McLovin Sept. 1, 2013 @ 11:42 a.m.

Toad Gloria is clearly a reptile. He quickly changes color as the situation changes for his own personal gain. He tirelessly and relentlessly canvassed the streets of N. Park and Gay bars in Hillcrest making promises the first time he was elected, and in is reelection ran unopposed. The drive-thru issue predates Bob Filner's election http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20..., and I don't once see that Toad ever took any interest in the issue, I guess he was too busy cutting ribbons for bike racks in Hillcrest. This guy really turns my stomach. Every time he's interviewed he just spews platitudes and rehearsed talking points. Give me a break!


Founder Sept. 1, 2013 @ 3:38 p.m.

Great summation! + Here is another story from about a year ago: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...


MeReader Sept. 1, 2013 @ 12:19 p.m.

to interim mayor todd gloria:

thank you for killing that filner order. grateful drivers, from throughout san diego city and also from elsewhere in san diego county, who are driving through the neighborhood where that jacks is located, during their daily commutes have been waiting to go through that drive-thru at that jacks. they are anxiously honking their cars' horns while impatiently waiting to get their jumbo jack burgers (and yes, they do want fries with their burgers) and will happily pay any sales tax that may go to the city of san diego. goldie the city attorney is sure to place his retroactive legal rubber stamp on todd's order rescinding the filner order to the applause of honking drivers wanting to get their burgers at that jacks. lol


Founder Sept. 1, 2013 @ 3:34 p.m.

Jack may be happy but North Park is not.

Todd Gloria made his first blunder as in-term Mayor!


BlueSouthPark Sept. 1, 2013 @ 2:02 p.m.

Gloria is a weasel, now with a well-established habit of hemming and hawing and equivocating and backtracking - not too surprising among politicians at his level. It's hard to know if that type of behavior is really at the core of a pol, if you don't know them or they have no record. But one way to discover what a candidate/elected person is all about is to talk to their staff. If the staff lie outright over issues that their boss hedges on, you know that their boss is bad. Staffers lie because they've been told to by their bosses.

I met Gloria when he first ran for council. At the same time, the issue of the Greater Golden Hill assessment district was being pushed forward. I knew nothing about it or what it might mean for my neighborhood and my property, so I asked Gloria. He quite sincerely stated that he'd "heard of it, would look into it." Never heard back from him.

I did my own research and could see that the assessments were largely a waste of money, a privatization scam, a violation of state law, a twisting of local law, and definitely a tool to empower and enrich a certain group of people in my neighborhood who I knew to be on the wrong side of everything. Not hearing from Gloria I later called Stephen Hill, Gloria's staffer. Hill feigned ignorance of the assessment laws and plans for my area, so I actually thought I was being helpful by sending him info. I asked for help to stop the illegal process prior to its imposition.

In doing more research, I found City documents about the assessments with Hill's name all over them. He was part of Gloria's alliance with others to push it forward. I confronted Hill about his pretended ignorance, and he just sat in silence, staring into space. Gloria lies, his staff lies. He's unelectable by anyone who abhors liars.


Founder Sept. 1, 2013 @ 3:06 p.m.

Mayor Filner is the only one that has stood up to special (BIG MONEY) interests, now Todd Gloria will take every penny they offer because he loves BIg Business and their donations!

Big Development is working overtime trying to take over $an Diego and anyone that thinks differently, is either not paying attention, part of the problem (NIMBY) or is politically naive.

There are Billions to be made all at the taxpayers expense, so expect to see many millions being passed out to gain political influence as the City is bought, *lock, stock and barrel.


KLoEditor Sept. 1, 2013 @ 3:09 p.m.

It has been well documented here at the Reader that the Toad routinely bans people from his Facebook page, the practice is so prevalent there's even a meme for it. It doesn't surprise me that he thinks he's doing a good job, since he makes sure only to hear the good things people say about him.



monaghan Sept. 2, 2013 @ 8:06 a.m.

Oh, say it isn't so! Banning people from Facebook? If Gloria does this, he can't be all bad.(I am not a fan of Facebook or Gloria and can't decide which is more pernicious.)


McLovin Sept. 2, 2013 @ 8:35 p.m.

Gloria didn't waste any time getting his mug on every TV newscast today "touring" the city. Looks like he's getting a head start on campaigning for mayor, even before he makes an official announcement.


rosijoni Sept. 3, 2013 @ 8:21 p.m.

Well, Todd Gloria is not going to be a candidate for the mayoral job. Here's my thought, not that it counts for anything. Perhaps the former mayor, in his last act of revenge, issued this stop-work order just to put Mr. Gloria in the worst possible light? After all, I think Mr. Gloria was pretty vocal about the need for Filner's resignation. By not running in the mayoral primary, I think Todd Gloria has neutralized his position on this subject. Criticize him all you want, hate him, but he personally is not going to gain from this, at least not in the short term.


Founder Sept. 4, 2013 @ 9:40 a.m.

I think that Todd Gloria is not only "not going to gain from this," but many of his core supporters are now angry and feel that they and their neighborhoods have been sold out by him, in his rush to placate Big Business. Todd Gloria may have actually tripped himself up.


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