If we learned anything from the ousting of Mayor Bob Filner it should be that integrity is of the utmost importance in selecting any candidate. Words are worthless. Actions are all that matter in a leader. Filner was booted by a group of politicians: Todd Gloria, Kevin Faulconer, Jan Goldsmith, Lorena Gonzalez, Toni Atkins, Dianne Feinstein to name a few. Democrats and Republicans elected by us to represent us not special interests, betrayed us in a serious way by demanding Filner step down bypassing the due process afforded by the Constitution and bypassing the will of the people through a recall process.
These politicians worked behind closed doors to nullify our votes. We must remember what they did now that we are in the position to elect a new mayor. In fact many of them are running for mayor: David Alvarez, Kevin Faulconer, and Lori Saldana all participated in the unprecedented coup that forced an elected mayor out of office without public approval.
And the mainstream media that coordinated the coup is now presenting a very limited list of candidates for us to choose. The media machine loves Nathan Fletcher ignoring Nathan's very sketchy record on things like redevelopment and his own campaign finance as well as his inability to commit to a party affiliation. They also love David Alvarez despite his action in allowing Walmart to invade his "community" of Barrio Logan and voting for controversial development projects and his lack of experience.
Despite what the media wants you to believe there are other choices. And thankfully we do have a candidate with a REAL track record of integrity and a long history of standing up for the people of San Diego and creating workable agreements with government, business, non-profit and community stakeholders that actually benefit the people and communities.
That candidate is Bruce Coons, a former high-tech manufacturing executive and current executive director of the Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO). If you don't know who SOHO is know that they single-handedly saved Balboa Park from being destroyed by Jacob's Plaza de Panama project, a project that would have destroyed the historic Cabrillo Bridge and would have opened the park up to all kinds of development and corporate exploitation -- a project that will no doubt re-emerge now that Filner is gone.
It wasn't the endless testimony of the public that saved the park, it was SOHO filing a lawsuit.
He was the David who took on the Goliath of City Hall and won.
Bruce Coons and his non-profit group-- Save Our Heritage Organisation-- took the city to Superior Court over the controversial and destructive plan to "makeover" the park’s Plaza de Panama.
The carefully designed plan was presented to citizens as a 'gift', but it soon became clear the 'gift' was nothing more than a Trojan Horse that would have taken federal historic protection away from our park. Once that protection is taken away all bets are off on preserving the 1200 acre park.
In August 2010 the plan was unveiled by then Mayor Jerry Sanders and Irwin M. Jacobs to build a parking garage in the Spreckles Organ Pavilion parking lot. The plan, presented as a way to move cars out of the Plaza de Panama, became incredibly controversial because of the major alteration to the appearance of the Nationally Historic Cabrillo Bridge and the obvious goal of charging visitors for parking. City Council voted to approve the plan despite massive opposition by the public.
It was Bruce Coons who stepped in and stopped this plan -- at least for now -- The powers that be are intent on demolishing an 80 foot section of the Cabrillo Bridge in order to make the "major changes" neccessary to destroy the federal protection.
He has clearly demonstrated the leadership skills to be mayor of this city that we need and if you think Bruce doesn't have the experience necessary to be mayor you should think again and look at his impressive resume.
He has ALWAYS put neighborhoods "first". He has overseen his very highly respected, fiscally responsible non-profit group for 15 years protecting cultural and historic resources, advancing REAL neighborhood revitalization (not the faux "revitalization" brought to us by politicians like Toni Atkins), real economic development, and real community activism. He has attended countless city meetings and has confronted the city countless times for breaking the law.
The City has been operating outside the law for decades and time and time again I have seen Bruce get up to the podium and confront them on breaking the law. He is not afraid to stand up to them when they act in ways that destroy neighborhoods and most importantly he knows the law.
Yes, unlike the other candidates, Bruce is not a career politician and that is what makes him an excellent candidate. Career politicians have destroyed this city time and time again through secret backroom deals. They have been totally inaccessible to the public and deaf to the desires of those they represent.
Bruce would listen to the public and would work with them to improve the city for everyone not a handful of interests and he, unlike other candidates, has the track record to prove that.
Here are just a few of Bruce's accomplishments:
1: He represented the public's best interests in preserving Balboa Park from unnecessary and incompatible development.
2: He worked with developers of Petco Park to reuse the endangered downtown warehouse district.
3: He co-negotiated the preservation of the Old Police HQ with its attendant 5-acre waterfront park (Ruocco Park) and amendment to the Port Master Plan was made possible working as a joint effort with the Police Officers Historic Association and Citizens Coordinate for Century 3.
4: He helped preserve the the Hotel del Coronado by fighting the development of high-rises that would have destroyed it's historic context.
5: Bruce intervened in the attempted destruction of the iconic red-roofed building in La Jolla, one of San diego's oldest standing structures.
6: He served as an elected member of the Old Town Community Planning Group for ten years and a current elected member of the Peninsula Community Planning Board.
He recently told NBC this in an interview discussing his candidacy:
"The first three things I'm going to ask and every issue and development that comes before me that's not according to plan and zoning,” ...., “is, 'What do the residents say about it? What do the community groups and planning groups say about it? And does it improve the quality of life for San Diegans?'"
Wow, since when has any politician cared what the community wanted? They certainly did not care when the public bombarded them with opposition to the Jacob's plan, nor did they care when the citizens unanimously voiced strong opposition to the Mid-City Rapid transit project that would save a very insignificant amount of time off the current bus trip at a cost of over $40 million dollars and would destroy the walkability of Park Blvd.
Politicians now hold public hearings as a way to posture and pretend they care even though they have already made their decision behind closed doors.
With Bruce Coons in the Mayor's Office, the citizens of San Diego will know they have an effective leader who will work for us and will listen to us.
Bruce also said this to NBC:
"I will represent, promote and protect a San Diego for all San Diegans. I will draw upon the best minds to help me create a feasible and inspiring road map for the future, similar to what the Marston family did when they commissioned the Nolen Plan and "Temporary Paradise?" two documents with much that is still relevant, but have yet to be fully implemented.
For far too long, San Diego has lacked a vision for its future. The time is now. Together we can create that vision and build on our city's nearly 250-year history. It is time that San Diego take its rightful place among the great cities in the world. Please join our effort."
With Bruce you can be sure he will not hire the same cast of special interest characters that have been working in the mayor's office for years. He will fill his staff with brilliant minds and people with proven track-records. Bruce is without a doubt an excellent candidate for mayor and the only candidate anyone should consider voting for.
It's time to stand up to City Hall and tell them they work for you. Cast your vote for Bruce Coons on November 19 and send them a message that enough is enough. It is time for them to listen to the people.
And before you believe the propaganda that Bruce can't win consider some recent polls in Hillquest and the OB Rag that show him with very strong support.
Don't forget what happened here. The people who participated in the ousting of Filner must be held accountable and they certainly must not be re-elected. These politicians being presented to us as the real candidates decided that our opinion did not matter. The media that booted Filner decided our opinion did not matter and they continue to tell us our opinion does not matter by only inviting certain candidates to the debates.
Our opinion does matter. This is our city. It is our election and it's time to elect a mayor who knows that. Elect Bruce Coons. The future of our city depends on it.
More like this:
- Field of candidates for Mayor now at 16 — Aug. 30, 2013
- Enter number 14: More unknown candidates enter the race to replace Bob Filner — Aug. 29, 2013
- Bob Filner changes position on Balboa Park Plan, tells Voice of San Diego he will support Council's decision — Aug. 24, 2012
- Filner Is In — June 8, 2011
- All in Favor of Balboa Park Preservation... — Feb. 16, 2011