Poll: Is Mayor Filner Off the Rails or On Track With Attacks on Agencies?

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, shown in file photo, has been critical of city and county agencies.

Since becoming mayor of San Diego in December, Bob Filner has shaken the downtown establishment. Last week, he and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith—the former Poway mayor—argued over Tourism Marketing District revenues. Now U-T San Diego reports how Filner challenged the San Diego Association of Governments over a plan to spend $40 million on outside public relations.

At a SANDAG board meeting Friday, Santee Councilman Jack Dale, the board chairman, “interjected several times to provide an opening for staff to answer Filner’s questions,” the U-T reported.

The board took no action on Filner’s request for board intervention on the PR contracts — prompting the Democrat to say he was being ignored, the U-T said.

“What happens to my request?” he was quoted as saying. “Can I put this on an agenda?”

The U-T also said Lemon Grove Mayor Mary Sessom noted her board service dating back to 1996, and accused Filner of getting bogged down in minutia and referred him to the organization’s bylaws.

“It will help you a lot,” Sessom was quoted as saying.

Filner shot back:

“These are not minutia. These are important policy issues. I don’t need to be patronized by someone who’s been here since 1996. I can tell you I’ve been in politics since 1979. I won’t patronize you that way. So do not call my issues minutia. Do not patronize me that I don’t know anything that’s going on here.”

Is Filner overstepping his bounds as mayor, or are his questions long overdue?