More water under the bridge

By Gilbert Garcia

Phil Hardberger's impatience with the often-glacial pace of the City governing process hasn't put much of a dent in his public reputation, but the mayor seems to sense that the issue is gaining steam as he prepares to leave office.

Hardberger barely averted a PR disaster on April 16, when local environmental activists prepared to blast him at the Council's A Session for failing to set up an interview process to fill three SAWS board vacancies and simply presenting the Council with three picks ready for rubber-stamping

Hardberger pre-empted the brewing controversy that day by pushing back the Council's SAWS vote three weeks, and on April 23, he announced a "new process" for filling SAWS board positions. From now on, Hardberger's office revealed, interested citizens can pick up applications at the City Clerk's office (the deadline for the current openings is April 30) or apply via the City's website (, under Boards and Commissions). Once that process is complete, Council members can each pick an applicant to interview by completing an interview request form (and getting at least one colleague to sign it). In truth, the "new process" works the way most observers assumed that the process had already been designed to function, so this feels like a case of the mayor "fixing" something he himself botched.

The Council will interview SAWS board candidates on May 6 and make their choices the next day.

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