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City Atty. candidates offer brief answers Jon Campbell | Fri, Jun 04 2010 11:35 AM

Describe the proper relationship that a city attorney should have with the mayor and council, i.e., should the city attorney act as an independent check on the council's power or as an ally to lawmakers?

Glen Googins: If city officials propose or attempt something unlawful, my job is to stop them. Otherwise, my job is to help them implement their policy decisions within a sound legal framework that protects taxpayer resources. I will be effective in both roles because of my independence and extensive municipal law experience.

Robert Faigin: As stated in Proposition Q, the Chula Vista city attorney should be "sufficiently independent of the council and other city officials."

As city attorney, it would be my responsibility to provide advice and guidance to the mayor and council, while representing and being accountable to the residents of Chula Vista.

How should Chula Vista handle the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city?

Faigin: Citizens of California have approved the use of medical marijuana. City government is responsible for incorporating the laws of California in a reasonable and safe manner. Chula Vista should draft ordinances regulating medical marijuana dispensaries that balance the need for access to medical marijuana with the safety of our communities.

Googins: The law is currently unclear. Many jurisdictions are awaiting the outcome of the Anaheim case for guidance.

If the city lawfully proposed to prohibit dispensaries, I would defend their decision.

If the city lawfully proposed to permit dispensaries, I would draft and enforce a regulating ordinance that addresses neighborhood concerns.

What makes you qualified to deal with the legal issues of a large city?

Googins: I have extensive experience advising not just any city, but Chula Vista itself, as lead counsel on major city projects and programs, including public works, bayfront, affordable housing and energy issues.

Unlike my opponent, I've been part of our community for 18 years, so I will be independent and accountable.

Faigin: Operating like a large city, the Sheriff's Department has three times the employees as Chula Vista and property in most major cities in the county. I currently handle the same legal issues facing Chula Vista. I have tried over 50 jury trials and have a master's degree in public administration.

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