Some three months after they were supposed to take their seats, two new commissioners, Rafael Castellanos and Marshall Merrifield, were sworn in at the San Diego Unified Port District.
The two men were appointed by the San Diego City Council in a vote that occurred in early January, but was vetoed by Mayor Bob Filner, who said the appointments violated the city’s appointment rules.
In response, the council voted to amend its port commission appointment process. Also, last week, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, using a ruling he received from the state legislative counsel, said Filner had no authority to veto the appointments. Goldsmith had earlier said Filner was legally able to veto the appointments.
The two join Port Commissioner Bob Nelson on the commission, a seven-member board that has representatives from the five cities: three from San Diego and one each from Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach and National City.
Castellanos is a land-use attorney with Solomon Minton Cardinal Doyle & Smith LLP. Merrifield is a businessman who is the president of BlueWave Security, a maker of security surveillance equipment.
They are replacing Scott Peters, who was elected to Congress last year, and Lee Burdick, who resigned to become a top adviser to Filner.
— Mike Allen