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Two months after the San Diego County Grand Jury recommended that the City analyze its contract with Uptown Partnership, the agency that manages Uptown's parking, and consider absorbing the parking revenues collected in Uptown into the City's general fund, San Diego's Rules Committee - councilmembers Ben Hueso, Kevin Faulconer, Donna Frye, Tony Young, and Todd Gloria - considered the issue at a July 21 meeting.

City staff recommended that the committee support the July 15 response from the mayor's office, which would afford city staff some time to further analyze the grand jury's recommendations and the contract.

After staff's presentation, representatives from Uptown Partnership's board of directors addressed the committee; all were in favor of keeping the parking agency as it currently exists.

"[The grand jury report] is based mainly on the criticisms of our detractors whose main goal is to grab the money and the power that goes to the Uptown Parking District for themselves," said Jim Frost, a longtime Uptown Partnership board member during public comment.

After proponents spoke, "detractors" Benjamin Nicholls of the Hillcrest Business Association and Leo Wilson of Uptown Planners discussed the high overhead and lack of results at Uptown Partnership.

When it came time for committee members to address the issue, councilmembers Gloria and Faulconer, whose districts are partly in Uptown, expressed support for Uptown Partnership and opposed dissolving the agency.

Councilmember Frye, however, was not so agreeable, especially regarding the salaries at Uptown Partnership, which spiked from $164,000 to $206,000 from 2008 to 2009.

"Do we have an explanation for that?" Asked Frye while holding up a Uptown Partnership "statement of activities" document.

"I did not see it. It was not handed out to me," responded the executive director for Uptown Partnership, Carol Schultz.

"You don't know what your salaries are?"

"I know what they are currently," said Schultz before listing the current salaries: $31,000 for a program assistant, $42,000 each for two analysts, and Schultz' salary, which is $75,000 per year.

"The same as a city councilmember. I think that's interesting, and I think that needs to be looked at," said Frye. "I find it interesting that someone managing a parking meter district in five parts of a community is making $75,000 a year. Maybe that will be our next career move."

Later, the committee voted unanimously to forward the response to the grand jury on to the full city council.

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Comments

Founder July 22, 2010 @ 10:06 a.m.

Donna Fry Scores a Grand Slam on a Grand Scam!

Thank You for asking the perfect question and too bad the others Councilmembers were not also asking similar tough questions! These Districts need to be small, not huge, in order to make sure that all the money goes to parking improvements instead of more "monkey business"...

I hope all Readers will call and make sure their SD Councilmembers insure that our Public Funds are spent wisely instead of being used to pad the pocketbooks for the few "well connected"!

I also hope the IBA Office will look into the HUGE salaries being paid and "just say NO" to this practice of self promotion in San Diego!

Let's all make sure all our tax money gets spent on the things that need fixing in San Diego instead of more San Diego Fixing...!

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a2zresource July 26, 2010 @ 6:51 p.m.

I heard that those Uptown Partnership people are getting a raw deal by not offering their services to the City of Bell.

Bell Chief Admin Officer: $800,000 ?!?

Now, why does Bell pay that much to do pretty much nothing when that's only worth maybe $75,000 south of LA?

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HonestGovernment July 28, 2010 @ 11:49 a.m.

Oh how terribly funny: Ben Nicholls complaining about overhead? Now that's a great joke.

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HonestGovernment July 28, 2010 @ 11:59 a.m.

Donna, you might consider a career move as one of the local Business Association's BID exec directors, or as an exec director of one of the illegitimate MADs the BIDs and Community Development Corps oversee: check out the salaries of Gandarilla, for starters. It's sort of like the City of Bell: the most rip-off-type BIDs operate their scams in the very poorest sections of town, such as City Heights.

You could take home a lotta dough for very little meaningful work, Donna.... Dough straight out of the bank accounts of property owners, via the Economic Development division/City Planning Department. Go for it!

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nostalgic July 28, 2010 @ 3:18 p.m.

The use of Grand Jury reports in other cities is to provide background for a lawsuit against the city. Another one, waiting to happen in San Diego with this response by city government to a documented problem.

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Founder July 29, 2010 @ 1:40 p.m.

A very short reply to #5 Tax payers hate being eaten alive!

-- Dandy Grande --

Here's the trick, nostalgic;

If that really were to happen in a hurry, tax payers would call it, "A Grande Jury"!

Then if there was a big lawsuit the greedy folks would get the boot!

It would be a great start, because there's so many things to fix, instead of paying HUGE salaries and only just getting NIX.

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