“There have been numerous instances where the public has had a difficult time in getting information, and people often feel that they do not have a voice in the process,” says former councilmember Donna Frye.
The city attorney’s office, however, says it is the mayor’s responsibility, not the city attorney’s, to ensure that assessments are spent appropriately.
“Our Office does not review expenditures; City Staff working under the Mayor’s authority would do that,” writes Coburn. “Our Office does not advise the non-profits; we advise the City. If City staff has questions regarding such hirings, then we will respond to City staff to those questions.”
Frye says that residents have few options. “I would suggest that people experiencing problems with special assessment districts continue being vigilant in documenting any issues and working with the media.”
“I think it’s obvious that oversight at the City is seriously lacking as regards to the Clean and Safe program,” says downtown resident Carol Marino. “This hands-off approach definitely allows agencies such as Downtown San Diego Partnership to spend assessments as they choose, regardless of what the public wants.”
Representatives from the Downtown San Diego Partnership declined to comment on the expenditures. ■