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— "The only function Kroll is playing is to keep the investigation open so the councilmembers can say the investigation is not yet complete," says Aguirre. "KPMG is doing everything it can to maximize Kroll's income."

"The SEC is investigating, the FBI is investigating," says Shapiro. "What is it that neither of these agencies can do with subpoena power that Kroll can do without subpoena power?"

Mayor Jerry Sanders delivered his first State of the City speech a month after the Competitive Edge poll was taken. He declared the City "faces the most serious financial, organization, and ethical crisis in its history." The philosophy around city hall had been "delay, deny, or deceive," quoth he, pledging to change things without "smoke-and-mirror tricks."

Then he went out and hired people from the old-boy-girl network that had gotten the City into trouble: from the Golding administration, the school district, the convention center, the Padres, and developers. Sanders declared that straightening out City-owned real estate assets was a key priority, so he assigned the task to a former lawyer for the trust and foundation of a notorious Las Vegas gangster.

Sanders admits the job has proven to be more complicated than he believed when he was making his many campaign promises. But he claims he has made headway in his first 90 days. He hopes to get municipal labor unions to agree to concessions, but it hasn't happened yet. He says Kroll will complete its probe in two months and KPMG will get the 2003 audit out shortly after that, and the City may return to the bond market this year. That remains to be seen.

The mainstream media report that Sanders is cleaning up the mess. But then, they were just as enthusiastic about the mayors who created the mess. Why tell San Diegans something they don't want to hear?

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