San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria not entering mayoral race
Gloria will serve as interim mayor
Last Updated: 97 days ago
SAN DIEGO - Interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said Tuesday that his first day on the job was "awesome" but busy with meetings and media interviews.
Gloria, who took the helm of the city government late Friday afternoon, said his day started with a 6 a.m. television interview. He then met with the committee planning a yearlong celebration of Balboa Park's centennial; helped open a charter school at the new Central Library; met with the Building and Trades Council; took part in a news conference with the San Diego and Imperial counties chapter of the American Red Cross; and held two hours of staff meetings.
"It's stuff that gets me excited about this work, because you can see stuff like Balboa Park 2015, where they needed mayoral direction to get moving -- they have it now," Gloria told City News Service.
"(Mayoral) staff needed to be empowered at this last meeting to take a number of actions -- they've been given that direction," he said.
Earlier Tuesday, in a statement announcing he would not run in a special election to complete the term of ex-Mayor Bob Filner, Gloria said he found "substantial and serious" problems he needed to address.
"I have decided not to run for Mayor of San Diego at this time.
In the few days since I assumed the duties of mayor, it has become clear to me that the problems left by Bob Filner are substantial and serious. The enormous task of cleaning up City Hall while ensuring District Three is represented requires me to lead a focused team effort that produces quick results for San Diego.
San Diegans can count on me to lead our City with honesty and integrity. We will resolve the problems left by the previous administration. Together we will open our new Central Library, advocate for the expansion of our Convention Center, and make a $100 million investment in repairing our roads, sidewalks and other neighborhood infrastructure.
My parents taught me to leave things better than I found them. This has been the guiding principle of my public service. Now as the interim Mayor, I want to work together with City leaders and my fellow San Diegans to make sure the reputation of our City is better than I found it when I took on this role.
Thank you to the many supporters who have called and emailed, urging me to run. I am deeply appreciative of your help and guidance. There is no doubt that I will do a better job as Interim Mayor with so many San Diegans standing with me."
Among the issues are a $1 million funding shortfall in Filner's plan to keep the city's two homeless shelters open; uneven enforcement of rules that could expose the city to liability; and a variety of vacancies from the city's arts director to the head of the Public Utilities Department.
The shelters -- one for homeless adults and the other for veterans -- usually operate during the cold-weather months, but Filner wanted them open year-round.
"It's that kind of thing that just wasn't getting done," Gloria said. "He didn't budget it appropriately, we don't have an identified funding source to make up the difference so, as such, what are we going to do?"
He said he was going to visit the shelters soon to find a solution.
"It's a mess -- we've got to clean it up," Gloria said.
Filner's top lieutenants followed him out the door Friday, but Gloria said no further significant staff purges are contemplated. An announcement of some appointments is possible on Wednesday, though.
Mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher issued this statement regarding Gloria's decision not to run for mayor:
"San Diegans are fortunate to have a leader like Todd Gloria to guide our city through this period of transition with a steady hand. The public is going to select a new mayor soon, and that person must be able to cooperate with the city's other elected officials to address our challenges and opportunities as a city. I look forward to working with the City Council, and Council President Todd Gloria in particular, to move our city forward."
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. City News Service contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.