For a long time on November 12, the Esuchanko figures didn’t come up, as the councilmembers asked Goldstone and other officials about, often, minuscule matters. Then it was time to punish Aguirre for daring to have Esuchanko present disquieting numbers. Councilmembers Kevin Faulconer and Ben Hueso complained that the city attorney’s office was spending more than $1 million above budget. Hueso asked how any City entity could operate over its budget. “What are they getting around? How is this possible? How do we assure that we keep people on budget?” he asked. Then, dripping with piety, he added, “I’ve been making cuts every year. I’ve been very frugal in my office.”

Aguirre was not there at the time. He explained to me later that he had been running $100,000 a month over budget and was going to let some lawyers go to close the gap; now that he has lost the election, he will leave that to his successor, Jan Goldsmith.

The bigger question — far, far bigger — is what a small-minded council will do about the gap that Esuchanko exposed.

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Comments

JohnnyVegas Nov. 19, 2008 @ 12:17 p.m.

Councilmember Jim Madaffer put a happy face on Esuchanko’s grim numbers. Pension performance is cyclical, he said. “There will be peaks and valleys,” and today we are in a very deep valley, he conceded.

"Valley"..........LOL...what a friggen moron.

Almost as stupid as Scott "We're Not Broke" Peters writing the Wall Street Journal and claiming the San Diego pension fund is fine.

There is a BIG difference between a "valley" and bankruptcy. Our pension fund is technically bankrupt on a cash flow basis.

Someone find Madaffer and tattoo that fact on his forehead-so everytime he looks in the mirror he is reminded of what a chump he is.

There is absolutely NO WAY San Diego will not file BK. BK is coming, there is no way around it. Just a matter of time.

The notion that a City of 1.3 million people can fund a deficit of $4-5 billion (and counting) which is growing at an exponential rate is absurd.

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JohnnyVegas Nov. 19, 2008 @ 2:50 p.m.

Dow = 7997.28 Off -427.47 Points
Off -5.07%

Don, I have a question, if the pension fund was only 58% funded on November 12, 2008, what % do you think it is at today (November 19, 2008)??????????

If it drops below 50% funding what does Don Bauder think we should do??????

(I say file BK ASAP).

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Don Bauder Nov. 23, 2008 @ 10 a.m.

Response to post #1: There is only one councilmember who has the intelligence to analyze the situation and the courage to raise the pertinent points: Donna Frye. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 23, 2008 @ 10:02 a.m.

Response to post #2: Yes, following Friday's close, that number should be much lower -- maybe 55 percent or so. Best, Don Bauder

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jv333 Nov. 26, 2008 @ 6:10 p.m.

How about the Council slash the salaries of all city employees earning over $120,000 by 10% for 2-3 years to help make up the short-fall?

How about pursuing a suit against Sempra if there was liability for any of those brush fires?

If any pensions were increased illegally, those should also be rolled back per Aguirre's findings.

Without going to the extreme of raising sales tax, these might be good places to look for savings/revenue for the city, for starters.

Maybe look into some sweet-heart land deals involving the city to see if any revenue can be recovered there.

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Don Bauder Nov. 26, 2008 @ 11:11 p.m.

Response to post #5: We'll have some more suggestions in later columns. I doubt Goldsmith, who is in the establishment's pocket, would go through with suits against Sempra and the pending suit against benefits granted illegally. Yes, San Diego should chase sweetheart land deals. But with Aguirre gone, no one would pursue such cases. Best, Don Bauder

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