Ed Harris – 3/10/15

How would you legislate? Today we got a chance to hear firsthand from one of our own, former Councilmember and current Optimist, Ed Harris. Ed recently completed a 9 month stay on the San Diego City Council. Appointed to fill the remaining term of Kevin Faulkner, after he won the special election for mayor. Ed provided an honest and frank perspective on the internal operations of the City Council.

“I think everyone should have an opportunity to spend 9 months on the San Diego City Council,” he told us. “I think it is an eye opening experience. My biggest surprise, and maybe my biggest disappointment, is that decisions are often based on how it will impact politicians’ next election.”

As Councilmember, Ed spent his time focused on issues impacting District 2. A pedestrian crossing light here, a code enforcement issue there, and then a land use issue down the street, getting things done is difficult because of bureaucracy. “In the City of San Diego, if you don’t have leverage, you don’t get anything done,” he said, shaking his head. “We really need to be dealing with taking care of the tax payer, getting the cross walk, streets and infrastructure done.”

Ed pointed to the City’s handling of their 500 ground leases. “We seem to drill down and audit to death the surf shop on the beach, while letting some of our largest lease holders go unchecked.” He believes the 500 leases should all be treated with the same consideration and scrutiny.

On his future in politics, Ed told us, “I am interested in the State Assembly. Toni Atkins seat, specifically. But, it is too soon to tell. We need to let it shake out a bit, before I will firmly commit.” The District has a40% Democratic voter registration. The most likely winner will come from the Democratic party. Who will run? Sarah Boot … Todd Gloria … Ed Harris??? Stay tuned!

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