Matthew Lickona 11:49 p.m., Dec. 10
First is this note co-opted from Voice of San Diego: Jeff McDonald, VOSD The Union Tribune's Jeff McDonald has been doggedly revealing more about the enormous contract awarded to the new investment guru for San Diego County's pension system. Last week, McDonald wrote that the investment manager, who is replacing someone who made $209,000 a year, could be paid as much as $4.51 million over three years with performance incentives and at least $2.1 million no matter what happens. The Union-Tribune editorial board is not letting go of the issue either -- saying the smell from it is "getting worse."
Over and over and over again, the politics in this City continue to amaze me. Paying through the nose (I've always liked that expression) while our Mayor seeks public input on the budget. What about the pros (essential services) and cons (non-essential services) method? Take a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle. List your costs in the column you think is appropo. Then look at the current budget and make some decisions. No matter what happens, people will complain. There are no right or wrong answers. If the money isn't there, some services must go. How about cutting things such as street cleaning from twice a week to once? Same with sidewalk washing. There has been lots of rhetoric regarding CCDC, CCAC, Paradise in Progress, SEDC. So, step up to the plate and take your swings. Disband the overpaid and now non-essential agencies and incorporate their duties into the Redevelopment arm of the City. This idea has been spouted by many and opposed by many, including Kevin Faulconer, City councilman for the downtown area (District 2).
City revenues are down. There is a $17 million deficit between last years sales tax revenue and this years. Every cent spent in this economy counts.
Property taxes account for about 1/3 of the City's budget. With foreclosures and price drops, this will be much less & may be difficult to collect. Since I was curious about the hundreds (thousands??) of empty condos downtown, I wrote to the property tax office. I love the e-mail address: Taxman.FGG@sdcounty.ca.gov
"Generally, there is always taxes due on a property unless it is owned by a government entity. Therefore, if a builder was unable to sell all of their units, they would be responsible to pay the taxes on those units."
So, BOSA, McMillen, Manchester et al must be shelling out a LOT of money because there are LOTS of unsold units.
Most of us are unable to go out to dinner as often as we used to do. One restaurant owner told me business is down about 30% and the Cohn Restaurant Group recently closed the Dakota. Fuddruckers is closed. Other Gaslamp restaurants are offering special deals, trying to get the locals back. Most are 3 course dinners (usually with 2-3 choices except dessert) for a single price. Some have extended Happy Hour prices on drinks and appetizers.
According to many articles, tourism is down (except for the homeless) and that means less HOT revenue, which is a large part of our economy.
Things are not looking good right now. I love the fact that credit card rates have been raised, even though many of them are issued by the banks that we bailed out. They get us coming and going!!
There is an Alzheimers' fund raising in Balboa Park tomorrow morning, early. I will be there, unless I forget.