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Saturday, November 17 saw an outpour of support and gratitude for future “former” San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. The event, held on Park Boulevard, occured outside of the new work-in-progress San Diego Central Library in the East Village. The event was billed, much like Sanders and the city itself as, “fun and casual.” There was also a promise of no speeches – though there were a few. Much to the benefit of all, no political speeches were made.
Proceeds from the well attended ($45 a ticket) event will benefit the San Diego Public Library Foundation, Barrio Logan College Institute, and Balboa Park 2015 Centennial Fund. As southern California weather will always permit, the Eleventh Street block between J and K Street became appropriately dubbed “Jerry’s Pub.”
“Jerry’s Pub” brews were provided appropriately by Karl Strauss, with food tents representing restaurants Bali Hai, Phil’s BBQ, Urban Kitchen, and many others. This was definitely a selection of fine San Diego comfort food.
Sanders was elected Mayor in 2005, succeeding Dick Murphy resulting from his resignation after the pension scandal, or “Enron by the Sea” as it is still known today. Regarding the pension scandal, as well as overall corporate panhandling, he and city council managed to keep San Diego afloat during the country’s worst recession since the Great Depression. Though still far from out of the woods currently, Sanders’ administration were able to bring the city’s finances and credibility out of the debris.
Sanders will be remembered as a public servant, having served in the San Diego County Police force from 1973 to 1999. As most know, Sanders was Chief of the San Diego Police Department from 1993 to 1999. Not only did Sanders serve the public of San Diego, but he also operated at CEO of United Way San Diego after leaving the police department. He has been a board member of the American Red Cross, the San Diego Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, San Diego State University’s Dean’s Advisory Board, and Coronado First Bank, among countless others.
Democratic mayor elect Bob Filner and Sanders have an awkward relationship. Sanders endorsed Carl DeMaio, and has referred to Filner as “bad to work with.” Whatever the case, as of December 4 the two will have to get better aquainted. Sanders will be taking his position as CEO of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, but will first have to show Filner the ropes.