SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Members of the San Diego City Council are considering stripping embattled Mayor Bob Filner of his intergovernmental relations responsibilities on grounds that he has allowed the city to go without the services of lobbyists for eight months.
San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria sent a memorandum to Filner on Wednesday requesting an update on the city's representation at the state and federal level.
Gloria said that Filner, shortly after he took office, terminated the contracts with the firms hired to lobby state and federal officials on the city's behalf. Members of the council have repeatedly asked the mayor's staff about new representation and were told new contracts soon would be awarded.
"Sadly, eight months have passed without any substantive public action on your part, and the city remains without a voice in our state and national capitols, as far as I'm aware," Gloria wrote.
Gloria said the council may consider taking over direct responsibility for arranging for representation.
Filner "should be aware that we may act to move the city's intergovernmental relations under the council's direct authority if appropriate action on this critical matter is not taken in the near future," Gloria wrote.
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf raised similar concerns in a memo sent earlier this month regarding the mayor's office's handling of the legislative agenda approved by the city council, according to Gloria.
Gloria said the lack of representation regarding such issues as base closures could have an impact on the city's finances.
"As a former member of Congress, Bob Filner knows that major decisions are made daily in Washington that impact cities and their citizens," Gloria said. "It is beyond me why he has allowed San Diego to not be represented over the last eight months."
Gloria said he plans to visit Washington, D.C., in late September to advocate on the city's behalf.
All nine members of the city council, along with other prominent elected officials, have called on Filner to resign amid allegations he sexually harassed numerous women to various degrees -- from unwanted advances to groping and kissing.
The list of alleged victims includes two municipal employees, one of whom is being represented by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred and has sued Filner and the city. It also includes two women who said Filner made passes at them last year at a meeting of veterans who were raped in the military, and a retired U.S Navy rear admiral.
He has apologized for mistreating women and attended a behavioral treatment center but has denied that his actions constituted sexual harassment.
Filner also has been accused of shaking down developers.
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