Fil-Am-Latino mayor already making waves in San Diego
Barely a month into his term, San Diego, California’s first openly gay mayor and the first of Filipino, Latino, Native American descent is already changing his city’s path.
Mayor Todd Gloria has distinguished himself from his predecessor in three ways, according to a KPBS News report.
Gloria’s first major policy decision was to reject an offer by San Diego Gas & Electric to continue delivering energy to city homes and businesses.
The city currently charges SDG&E fees in exchange for letting the utility to keep its gas and power lines on the public right-of-way.
Gloria is preparing to set new terms could include more money for the city’s general fund and stronger commitments to renewable energy, according to KPBS News.
Gloria’s predecessor was reluctant to legally punish businesses for violating and state restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19. Many restaurants have been ignoring the state’s ban on outdoor dining.
Gloria, however, backs the restrictions and on December 30 signed an executive order directing the San Diego Police Department and City Attorney’s Office to cite and prosecute violators among the businesses.
Last week, a judge invalidated Proposition B, the 2012 ballot measure that denied defined-benefit pensions to all newly hired city employees except police officers.
The prevailing law requires cities to negotiate with unions representing their workers before cutting benefits. In 2018 the state Supreme Court found that the city had violated state labor law when it placed Prop B on the ballot, with the clear intent of evading that requirement to meet with the unions.
Gloria’s predecessor was one of Prop B’s original champions. Gloria, in contrast, opposed Prop. B and praised the judge’s decision last week to have the measure invalidated.
It remains to be seen how far Gloria’s alliance with city employee unions will go, as pandemic- caused budget shortfalls means negotiations public employee unions over salaries and benefits may get tougher, KPBS News noted.