Mayor Bob Filner said Wednesday his first two months in office have been akin to trying to get a train to change directions while keeping it running.
In the first of what he hopes will be informal monthly get-togethers in his City Hall office, Filner said he's found that San Diego is "a very big city.
"The processes of a very big organization tend to go on no matter who is CEO," he said. "The challenge has been to change policies while keeping the city running."
The mayoral transition has included a few hiccups, including squabbles with the City Council over appointments to outside groups and his failure to tell members of the council's Rules Committee that he fired the city's lobbyists in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Filner apologized for the oversight at the start a hearing committee hearing Wednesday and later acknowledged some mistakes. He said he expects to settle into the job in another month or so.
"I'm used to working with council people and with boards in a nonpartisan way," Filner said. "I'm trying to establish good relations."
Filner has been accused of micromanaging, but he said he has to—until changes are made in the way the city does business. Once new processes are in place, he said he would take a step back.
On other topics, Filner said:
-- he plans weekend office hours in the City Administration Building lobby from 9:30 a.m. to noon, "basically for anyone who wants to walk in and talk;"
-- the opening of a city of San Diego office in Tijuana, set for Friday, has been delayed until at least next week because the mayor, Carlos Bustamante, is out of town;
-- he wants to get a draft medical marijuana ordinance to the City Council as soon as possible and plans to meet with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss federal enforcement of the drug;
-- he will try to restart mediation sessions between supporters and opponents of the plan to remove vehicles from the center of Balboa Park after a court hearing set for Friday; and
-- he denied that partisanship came to play in his vetoes of two City Council appointments to the port's Board of Commissioners.
-City News Service