The Star-News


Disappointed but not embarrassed

Sat, Aug 03 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Carlos R. Davalos

This week I saw a photograph of a mesmerizingly long wave peeling unmolested to the left on an ocean flat as an ice rink.

Last week at home I exited my car at the end of the work day and glanced up. A police helicopter carved wide circles in the air over a neighborhood four miles away.

And it might have been last Thursday evening (or was it Saturday afternoon?) when I walked past a couple leaving a neighborhood tavern. Her eyebrows angled severely down toward her nose while her arms crossed over her chest.

Her companion’s expression was one of resignation.

“Hurry up!” she barked.

I live in San Diego. The largest city in this county. The city where the man I voted for, Bob Filner, is mayor. He is a mayor accused by eight women of sexual harassment. And despite the news conferences and updates and political maelstrom enveloping the mayor and the ladies, life in that city carries on.

Hand-wringing pundits, moralizers and know-it-alls would have me believe otherwise.

Grandstanding politicians  councilmen Kevin Faulconer and Todd Gloria held a press conferences to assure me that, despite turmoil at the mayor’s office, the people’s business would carry on.

I’ve got news for those two, and any others who think San Diego will collapse if Filner remains in office one second longer. It won’t.

(And before anyone interprets that last statement as support for Filner, read it over. Then read it once more. Sleep on it then read it again.)

A city, be it San Diego, Chula Vista, National City, Chicago, New York or even Escondido, is more than one mayor. Or two council people. Or anyone else elected to represent it.

A city’s character is embodied in the people who live and work there. It functions thanks to the combined efforts of those same individuals, not one or two or one dozen people.

So while the legal system sorts out the mess that unfolds at San Diego’s City Hall, police will continue to chase bad guys, surfers will continue to surf and bars will still peddle drinks.

When people moan that Filner is an embarrassment to the city of San Diego, I can’t help but roll my eyes at the hyperbole.

When I watch a parking enforcement officer whack tires along a busy neighborhood street, I don’t judge him based on what the mayor is accused of doing. Likewise, it’s hard to imagine tourists thinking, “Yeah, a long weekend in San Diego would be great but that mayor is so handsy. Maybe we should go elsewhere.”

Filner is responsible for his actions. In the same way I wouldn’t  be proud of what the mayor is accused of doing, I won’t be embarrassed. He is not a reflection of me.

Disappointed and upset, now that’s another story.


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