OPINION: San Diego Can Start Fresh by Electing Cory Briggs
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I’m not sure what I was expecting the first time I called Cory Briggs. We traded some opinions on Twitter and I had a question.
“This is Cory,” answered the calm, unassuming voice on the other end of the line.
Briggs is as real as a taxpayer advocate-turned politician can get. And if he succeeds in his unconventional campaign to become San Diego’s next city attorney, it will be a catastrophic loss for the downtown establishment.
And why is that? Because the politicians have made a mess of things and they’d very much prefer that we, the voters, don’t find out about what they’ve been doing, allegedly on our behalf.
To hear Briggs tell it, after ticking off a laundry list of boondoggles and disasters, like the failed Smart StreetLight program, the two-year delayed SDSU/West deal, 101 Ash Street or illegally spiked pensions, he sues the city all the time because of these dealings.
It says a lot about the time in which we find ourselves — an election year — when Briggs is attacked, criticized and dismissed as a loon in some quarters, as City Hall officials are simultaneously engaged in a full-scale coverups.
Much has been said and written about Briggs. Most of it untrue, which is why people say he’s “controversial.”
He’s an environmental lawyer who has decades of experience protecting the environment. As city attorney, he wants to help the mayor and City Council transition San Diego to using more renewable energy and cutting down on pollution.
What’s controversial about that as we fight climate change?
There’s nothing controversial about Briggs’s pledge to protect taxpayers by giving informed, transparent and objective legal advice to the mayor and City Council while reducing taxpayer risk and waste as much as possible.
When was the last time you heard a candidate for elected office promise not to take a pension from the city?
There’s nothing controversial about defending San Diego against state and federal efforts to take land-use and housing decisions away from local planning groups and elected officials, and prosecute illegal short-term vacation rentals.
When did it become controversial to be transparent, always act lawfully, and consistently strive to reinforce — rather than undermine the public’s trust in government?
The truth is Briggs has already been providing unofficial legal advice to the Mayor’s Office and to the City Council due to the fact that many of the decision makers inside City Hall don’t believe the legal advice they’re currently getting.
Many believe a change is needed in the City Attorney’s Office due to a number of conflicts. And would that actually be a bad thing, shaking up the establishment? The people who give little to no thought about what’s best for San Diegans?
I’m hoping it’s a changed year and we can start fresh with the political neophytes just to see what happens.
Please consider Cory Briggs for San Diego City Attorney.