Is the Mayoral Scandal Causing City Government Paralysis? | NBC Southern California

Is the Mayoral Scandal Causing City Government Paralysis?

Local nonprofits say getting permits and making progress is hard without leadership

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NEWSLETTERS

Those running Health Centers of San Diego in City Heights are at risk of not getting a permit on time because of the current scandal surrounding San Diego's mayor.

Timeline: Mayor Under Fire

The scandal surrounding Mayor Bob Filner has become what some might call a bad storm: Calls for resignation, colliding recall effort, and an announcement to seek specialized therapy.

And it's not just affecting City Hall. Some of the neediest San Diegans, who count on efficient decision-making by the City, are affected by government paralysis.

The Government and Media Relations Manager for Health Centers of San Diego Ben Avey said the nonprofit community health center received $8 million in federal money, through a competitive grant process. And for the adjacent parking lot in which patients can park: $500,000. That money, Avey said, is contingent upon deadlines and performance requirements.

"It's frustrating for us,” he said. “We just want to complete this project for our patients."

They're trying to get a permit, but with the scandal, and without Mayoral leadership, Avey said that hasn't been easy.

"What is tough for us is that we don't have a lot of avenues for recourse. We don't know who to call in the Mayor's office. Council Member Emerald - she's trying to help out, but as we all know with the Strong Mayor, he is the Chief Executive, he's the decision maker,” Avey said. “So not having people in the decision-maker's officer to reach out to, makes it more difficult."

More debilitating for City Council and, Avey said, city staff who are trying to make timely decisions, all while the status of San Diego's boss, is up in the air.