SAN DIEGO - As his last apparent act as mayor, Bob Filner issued a stop-work order for a Jack in the Box expansion in North Park.
As his first act as acting mayor, Todd Gloria rescinded the order.
At issue is whether Jack in the Box played fast and loose with city rules by rebuilding a restaurant much larger than neighbors thought was permitted. Neighbors complained bitterly that the expanded restaurant would bring added noise and traffic to the area.
In an order signed Thursday, and made public Friday, Filner ordered that all work be stopped.
But within minutes of Filner’s forced resignation, Gloria and the city’s chief operating officer, Walt Ekard, rescinded the order.
Gloria noted that Jack in the Box officials seem to be exploiting a loophole in the city code. The loophole, involving rules about buildings being torn down, must be changed so no other neighborhood goes through a similar controversy, he said.
“Bob Filner’s last act was symbolic of his entire tenure as mayor: it was contradictory and exposed the city to liability,” said Gloria, noting that Filner’s staff had approved the renovations for the restaurant.
The rules for renovations need to be changed, Gloria said. “Unfortunately, Mayor Filner didn’t see fit to change the rules while he was in office, but I’ll clean that mess up too,” he said.
As the City Council president, Gloria became acting-mayor at 5:01 p.m. after Filner’s forced resignation amid allegations of sexual harassment of women.
An election for a successor to fill Filner’s final three years is set for Nov. 19, with a possible runoff in January.