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Filner wants more scrutiny of boards

After clashing twice with the City Council over municipal board appointments, Mayor Bob Filner said Wednesday that the board members at many city agencies are being picked through “popularity contests” without any clear standards for whether they are qualified for the jobs.

During a talk with reporters, Filner warned that he may block appointments to other city panels, including the Planning Board and Convention Center Board, unless there are clearer policy objectives for each board and a specific list of qualifications and standards expected for the board members.

Without such standards, he said, there is little way of objectively evaluating board appointees to determine how well they would do in their positions. Having a lack of policy objectives, he said, can lead to “bad decisions.”

In the past month, Filner has vetoed two appointments to the board that oversees the Port and argued with Council President Todd Gloria over two appointments to the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG. In the latter case, the appointments went forward after Filner and Gloria left the City Council chambers to discuss the matter behind closed doors.

Besides pushing for clearer standards for appointees, Filner said he also wants to pump new blood into the boards.

“Now it seems like we have a rotating set of 40 to 50 people who seem like they’re the only ones (filling these seats),” he said. “I don’t understand how that can be, when we have such a huge population.”

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