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An appeals court yesterday (Jan. 26) refused to overturn an Orange County law permitting sheriffs' deputies with 30 years of service to retire at age 50 with a pension amounting to 90% of their salaries. Orange County argued that its current financial difficulties resulted in large part from "ruinous fiscal irresponsibility" of the previous board of supervisors that had passed the egregiously generous pension arrangement. But the 2nd appellate district said, "Imprudence is not unconstitutional." The case is expected to go to the state supreme court.

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Comments

JustWondering Jan. 27, 2011 @ 4:20 p.m.

Trial Court - Strike One Appellate Court - Strike Two The Cal Supreme Court - Priceless... oops that's A TV AD.

No matter the result if they appeal it looks like the OCBOS will continue to waste the taxpayers money. With the only real winners, the lawyers. So far OC spent more than 2.26 million on this "theory" as of July 2010.

Sadly the County Board refused to listen to four other powerful law firms who said they had no case. They've blindly followed Moorlach tilting at windmills.

Here is another interesting fact. The fellow who came up with this theory, the one tossed out twice so far. Why it's Mario Mainero, the former chief of staff to OC Supervisor Moorlach. Mainero, left county employment in May to teach law school, he was hired back by the county to continue its fight. Talk about feathering your own nest!

And here's the interesting part for San Diego. It has nothing to do with Public Safety here. The POA received 3% at 50 as part of a legal settlement to the Corbett litigation, whereas the OC Deputies negotiated for 3 at 50 as part of collective bargaining agreement.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 27, 2011 @ 4:44 p.m.

LOL...we have been going back and forth on this the last 24 hours over at the Orange County Regoster....... Like I have said, this is a 3 round fight, and the only round that counts is round 3.

. It has nothing to do with Public Safety here. The POA received 3% at 50 as part of a legal settlement to the Corbett litigation, whereas the OC Deputies negotiated for 3 at 50 as part of collective bargaining agreement. ================ Can you cite a source for this comment? NO you cannot.

Corbett had nothing to do with 3%@50-it was ALL about underfunding. Get a clue justclueless.

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JustWondering Jan. 27, 2011 @ 5:55 p.m.

Wrong once again Puppy...

The City of San Diego Resolutions adopted as part of the Corbett Litigation Settlement. You can either read the entire resolution or skip down to page 12 of 16.

If you choose to read from the beginning where it says: "WHEREAS, the Board of Administration (“Retirement Board”) for the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System (“SDCERS”), the Council for the City of San Diego (“City Council”), the City’s four labor unions and the Superior Court have approved the settlement of a class action suit brought by William J. Corbett ... regarding the calculation of retirement benefits (“Settlement”);

Jump down to page 12. That's where you'll find effective 7/1/2000 safety members, as part of the CORBETT LEGAL SETTLEMENT received the choice of 3 at 50 effective July 1, 2002, or the old rate effective June 30, 2002, (2.5%) PLUS 10%. So you could calculate using 2.5% + 10% or 3.0% at age 50.

Here is the link to Resolutions adopted as an Ordinance, the end result of a legal settlement.

http://docs.sandiego.gov/council_reso_ordinance/rao1996/182-mcateer.wpd.pdf

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 27, 2011 @ 6:47 p.m.

It was in the settlement-fine.

But the legal question remains the same as the OC case, did the officials have the LEGAL AUTHORITY to give the pension increases retroactively. If the answer to that is NO, then the settlement is void-or at least the 3%@50 portion.

The legal authority question IS the key- I don't think your claim that the 3%@50 being a part of the Corbett settlement makes it immune from a collateral attack like OC is doing.

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Don Bauder Jan. 27, 2011 @ 9:36 p.m.

You and your confreres think you have your 3/50 locked up legally. But do you ever think of what you are doing to your San Diego neighbors ethically? Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Jan. 28, 2011 @ 4:22 p.m.

Ethics. What one is willing to do when they know they're not being watched? To be clear, Jack McGrory, Susan Golding et. al. cooked the books, obfuscated the truth, and sold the idea of MP1 to the City Council and SDCERS Board. McGrory included a trigger for a balloon payment if SDCERS funding fell below the mark. Then it was Murphy and Ubberaga who ignored the trigger, instead they designed and implemented MP2 its all well documented history and quickly becoming ancient.

Murphy resigned, Ubberaga and his successor Lamont Ewell resigned too. The ethics issues are all theirs and all five are collecting pensions or pension credits from the City.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:03 p.m.

Ethics. What one is willing to do when they know they're not being watched? To be clear, Jack McGrory, Susan Golding et. al. cooked the books, obfuscated the truth, and sold the idea of MP1 to the City Council and SDCERS Board.

SDCERS is in the same boat as McGrory and Golding, they went along with the scam, and it was a scam. And the membership elected the SDCERS Board-so they are just as complicit in the scam.

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Don Bauder Jan. 27, 2011 @ 9:33 p.m.

I think it was always assumed that the fight would be settled at the supreme court level. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 27, 2011 @ 9:32 p.m.

So you feel smug that your 3/50 is safe. You may be right. But you'll drag San Diego into BK. Maybe you'll get paid with scrip. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Jan. 27, 2011 @ 6:53 p.m.

First you say it there was no settlement, which I proved you wrong. Now you say the Court approved an illegal settlement. You're just full of ...err ahh answers. Problem is your answers are wrong most of the time.

My original point is the OC case is a collective bargaining issue, San Diego is a legal settlement for acts or omission by the City and SDCERS.

I know you hate that but it is a legal settlement agreed to voluntarily by all parties to action and approved by the court.

Get over it.

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Don Bauder Jan. 27, 2011 @ 11:18 p.m.

I know you are talking to SP and not to me, but how are San Diegans going to "get over it?" even if the courts agree with you? The City is already technically insolvent, and it has potholes, closed libraries, a rotten infrastructure and lagging maintenance to prove it. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 8 a.m.

My original point is the OC case is a collective bargaining issue, San Diego is a legal settlement for acts or omission by the City and SDCERS.

=== And my point is the same whether it was part of Corbett or not-the officials disd not have the authority to give the retroactive pension boost.

If I sold YOUR car to my neighbor, would that be legal? of course not, I don't own your car-and th eofficials did not have the authority to give away the farm for prior work.

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JustWondering Jan. 28, 2011 @ 10:46 a.m.

You're right if you sold my car I'd have to sue you and if I settled with you I'd be stuck with whatever I agreed to. But if I litigated it, the Court might award damages to me.

In this case the city failed to follow it own rules and it got caught, refused to correct the immoral behavior and was sued. After it's lawyers evaluated the litigation, risk vs reward, they chose to enter into a binding legal settlement, which was supervised and approved by the courts. They certainly had the knowledge, authority and advice of counsel to enter into a legal settlement. Otherwise they would have litigated it and reached an end that way.

Aguirre ran into the same problem in his attempts at litigation and Courts already ruled it was part of a legal settlement.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 12:52 p.m.

The question about the OC decision is how much in pensions the three judges each had? And how much would they give up if they found for OC? If the Supreme Court won't take the case, will that be the reason? Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 10:04 a.m.

This was posted yesterday-another court of appeals case ruled that retroactive pension increases are NOT valid, unless it is specifically stated, if the retroactive portion is silent in the contract then NO GO on retroactive increases.

This issue has now created a split in the court of appeals, which will need to be decided by the CA Supreme Court;

"The dispute wound up before an arbitrator, who found that the state had negotiated an agreement for retroactive benefits. On Wednesday, however, the state's Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento said the 2002 legislation that put the deal into effect did not include either a statement of retroactivity or its costs, which both sides have estimated at nearly $40 million."

. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/26/BA251HEKJQ.DTL .

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JustWondering Jan. 28, 2011 @ 11:03 a.m.

The court ruled the arbitrator overstepped his authority and the legislators should have approved the settlement with the necessary declarations.

Again, completely different apples, oranges and now bananas comparisons from San Diego, Orange County and now the State of Kali-forn-neea facts.

But I do agree, the Supremes will ultimately resolve both. BTW most of all this stuff is easily found at

. http://www.Pensiontsunami.com .

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 12:30 p.m.

The court ruled the arbitrator overstepped his authority and the legislators should have approved the settlement with the necessary declarations.

=============== Actually that is not what the court ruled, the court ruled that retroactive pension increases are NOT valid, unless they are specifically say so in the contract. If the contract is silent then retroactive pension increases are not valid or legit.

It had nothing to do with "necessary declarations" or "approval of a settlement". The only issue is were the retroactive portions IN THE CONTRACT-if not, they do not apply and cannot be gifted out.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 12:58 p.m.

Are you sure the California Supreme Court would take the case? Those judges have their own pensions at stake, too. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 6:28 p.m.

Yes, I am positive the CA Supreme Court will take both appeals court cases.

They know they wont have a pension at all if changes are not made, you cannot be paying the "retired" 50 y/o employees more than the current ones, and that is what is happening.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 12:54 p.m.

But would this be a major part of the Supreme Court's case? Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Jan. 28, 2011 @ 11:20 a.m.

Don,

Over and over it's been proven the City's revenue streams are trickling brooks compare to other comparable cities in California and elsewhere. If revenue sources, like trash collection, storm water, business licenses etc etc were equalized the city would easily meet it obligations. The IBA has spelled it out repeatedly, but there's no political will to chance it.

In the long term as future pension costs and wages are being tamed as we speak, the city balance sheet will improve. One example of that is SDCERS investment earning exceeded the expected return. Another are the higher contributions to SDCERS by the employees or the recent court decision over $100M in under pricing of pension service contracts.

It took nearly 10 years of City mismanagement and obfuscation to create the mess it's in today. Its citizens, and its media watchdogs CHOSE to bury their heads in the sand during that time. It's not going to be resolved over the short run and ALL parties will suffer while solutions are found and time repairs the damage done by the City political leaders and management.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 12:35 p.m.

Your claims of lack of tax revenue are not a legit reason to raise taxes.

Furtheremore-even cities with HUGE tax revenue coming in are in the exact same position as San Diego-so although it might help in a minor way, it would by no means cure the problem.

What you and the rest of your buddies in "public safety" positions need to understand is very simple, you cannot retire from 6 figure salary jobs that give 6 figure pensions at age 50, when the average mortality rate is age 80-86. That is simply not sustainable, and no amount of taxes will fix that-even if taxes were at 90%.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 4:39 p.m.

Excessive pensions are not being tamed rapidly. These are baby steps taken slowly. Yes, San Diegans are undertaxed and pay inordinately low fees. But Prop. D shows they want to keep it that way, at least for now. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Jan. 28, 2011 @ 10 p.m.

The problem is that living in San Diego is expensive. There are competing demands on people’s wallets. SDG&E has a voracious appetite for increasing fees. Our water is always going up no matter how much we conserve. Kinder-Morgan must have their hands in the cookie jar big-time because we in San Diego pay as much for gasoline as Hawaii where gas has to be shipped by tanker. Our real estate is expensive due to high demand being some of the best ocean front property, in one of the best climates, within the borders of the best democracy in the world. We are not “in the center of things, we are the end-of-the-line,” we are at the edge. We pay for everything to be shipped to us from LA or elsewhere. So the reason San Diegans balk at more taxes is because we are already stretched by everything else. But other “expensive” cities have similar dilemmas yet they deliver the services. Take New York City and Chicago for example. So-called “leaders” like Jerry Sanders would not make it past the fire hydrant in front of their city halls before being dispatched to the bone yard.

San Diego doesn’t have a constituency problem, it has a leadership problem.

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JustWondering Jan. 28, 2011 @ 1:05 p.m.

Oh so you agree trash collections should be free in San Diego. And Business license fees, minuscule here, but thousands in other cities is OK too. And worst of all, developer/development fees, the ones almost at the bottom of the whole state, the ones where multimillionaire developers sometimes get subsidized by the taxpayers are fine as well.

These are just three examples where the fees in San Diego are so low they don't cover the costs to administer the operations. Those losses put further strain on the general fund, all while generating profits for others.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 4:41 p.m.

Without question, San Diegans could absorb higher taxes and fees. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7 p.m.

Oh so you agree trash collections should be free in San Diego

It's not free, we pay property taxes for it, and apartments and businesses do pay trash-it is not a tax problem-it is a pension spending problem.

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SkippingDog Jan. 28, 2011 @ 1:38 p.m.

JustWondering does have a point, Don. The City of San Diego has been running their operations "on the cuff" for most of the last half century, and now the long deferred bills are coming due.

It's long past time for San Diego to develop the tax revenue streams that are the norm for large cities, not only in California but in the U.S. and across the world.

Trash fees, water fees, TOT, business licensing, permits, etc. should all reflect the "market" prices of similarly sized and situated cities, not some kind of backwater Navy town run by Pete Wilson, Copley, and their Republican cronies.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 4:43 p.m.

I agree with JW that SD taxes and fees are too low. However, citizens don't want to raise them to keep up the excessive pay and pensions of public employees. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:09 p.m.

I agree with JW that SD taxes and fees are too low. However, citizens don't want to raise them to keep up the excessive pay and pensions of public employees.

I agree with your comment 100%, if they would raise taxes and put it into the sewer system, the roadways, the parks, the beaches (have you seen the sea wall at Mission Beach??? falling apart) then I would be the one leading the fight as head cheerleader, but NO ONE is going to get behind ANY tax increases that fund these multi million dollar retire at age 50 gov pensions hwile the city and country and state crumble, that is just not happening.

I feel sorry for Brown if he thinks his tax increases in June are going to fly without goc pay, pension and spending reform. He will get the same treatment KFC Sanders did with Prop D.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:39 p.m.

Public opinion is definitely running against public employee abuses. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:01 p.m.

Skippy, the OCR wants you to keep your posts over there!

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:06 p.m.

Trash fees, water fees, TOT, business licensing, permits, etc. should all reflect the "market" prices of similarly sized and situated cities, not some kind of backwater Navy town run by Pete Wilson, Copley, and their Republican cronies.

===================

And muni/gov jobs should reflect the "market" prices of similarly sized and situated jobs in the private sector-where you do not have 20 y/o, GED educated employees making $200K in total comp like cop and FF do. The same can be said of almost ALL gov jobs where they are comped far more than the same skill set in the real world.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:42 p.m.

They kept saying that if their pay and pension were lowered, they would leave and go to work elsewhere. Fine. Go. You won't get as much money in many places and you won't get SD sunshine either. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Jan. 28, 2011 @ 6:22 p.m.

So if pay is frozen and pensionable pay dries up what do you think they'll do? The answer is nothing. A reference for this is TOT. A few years ago the city tried TWICE to raise the TOT to match other large cities in California. The voters turned it down TWICE even though the tax would be paid by visitors who use our resources and drain our General Fund. San Diego IS tax adverse, business exploit it and politician coward from them, for their own gain.

For all too long San Diegans have been conditioned that city services are either free (trash collection) or inexpensive (development fees etc etc). But reality is services cost a lot money. Trash collection hovers around $35Million annually. And, the infrastructure to deliver services, costs money to operate too!

Looking back now with 20/20 hindsight, we can see the truth. San Diego was in financial trouble as far back as 1982 when then Mayor Pete Wilson and City Manager Ray Blair concocted the idea to get out of Social Security. Why? To save 3.5% of total payroll in matching contributions. Then instead of investing the savings to pay for promised Retiree Health Care in lieu of Medicare, the city squandered the funds on who knows what.

Then instead of investing for the future, our leaders compounded the problem by illegally taking more. They took SDCERS investment earning over the actuarially expected amount, calling it euphemistically the "Waterfall", spent it and hid their money spending addiction too.

All of that leading us to retiree medical deficit the taxpayers face today.

25 years of mismanagement, political greed and spending addiction are the root causes of most, if not all, of the City's financial problems.

It's not the working folks who clean and repair the sewers, make sure your water is at the turn of your tap, fight your fires, pave your streets, collect your trash, supervise kids at your neighborhood park and rec center, point you to resource material in the library's stacks or protect your property and patrol the streets.

You're right Don, taxpayers don't want raise taxes to support pay and pension. Especially in hard economic times like today. Sadly, they don't feel responsible, or accoutable to repay money inappropriately taken/borrowed by their elected officials, or mismanaged by the bureaucratic managers over the past 25 years. They want to take it out of the hides and mouths of hard working city employees who are continually cast as the villain in this opera.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:13 p.m.

But reality is services cost a lot money.

Only because we comp gov employees far more than they would ever dream of in the real world.

Gov services are grossly cost prohibative for the value they return.

You simply cannot pay compensate front line cops and ff's $150K-$200K plus as much as another $120K in overtime, it does not work. And everyone else in gov has great, but not cop/ff great, comp like that.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:47 p.m.

You are correct that excessive pay and pensions jack up the cost of government services. But those aren't the only factors. JW is correct that these services ARE expensive. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 29, 2011 @ 6:14 p.m.

25 years of mismanagement, political greed and spending addiction are the root causes of most, if not all, of the City's financial problems.

============ I agree with JW 100% here. The elected officials are the ones to blame, they drove the city finances off the cliff. The unions are just as much to blame. Plenty of blame to go around.

It is sad we are in this mess because the bickering over it has gone on for 5 years now- and it causes a break down in our society-it builds a wedge between the private and public sector. That is not healthy for anyone and will destroy all of us in the end if the problems are not put in check.

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Don Bauder Jan. 28, 2011 @ 7:45 p.m.

Many feel the current problems started in 1996 when the pension fund was raided to pay for the Republican Convention. But you are correct: the problems were showing up much earlier than that. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 28, 2011 @ 10:30 p.m.

Did Golding actually raid the pension fund for the Repub convention???....I can't even remember back that far anymore.........

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Don Bauder Jan. 29, 2011 @ 7:37 a.m.

Yes, Golding and McGrory raided the pension fund to pay for the Republican convention. Then, to appease the city employee labor unions, the city granted excessive benefits -- DROP, purchase of service credits, excessive pay and pensions. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Jan. 29, 2011 @ 9:26 a.m.

You're right too. The 1996 Republican National Convention is the focal point because institutional memory is short lived and the watchdog was soundly asleep. But 1982 was the beginning when management got the employees to agree to leave Social Security and Medicare. That act gave management access millions, and they were hooked, just like a junkie on heroine. Then they had to feed their new and growing habit and the deceit started with SDCERS and the waterfall until it all blew up in their face. Just like a Madeoff ponzi scheme.

Surfpuppy's comment "Did Golding actually raid the pension fund for the Repub convention???....I can't even remember back that far anymore........." is a perfect example fading memories.

While Golding as Mayor did not personally raid the SDCERS fund. She was the director, the rising starlet of the republican party, at least in her mind, and was going to deliver no matter what. She directed McGrory to come up with MP1. In late 95 and early 96 McGrory was so desperate to find ways to pay for the RNC he was slushing city funds through SDDPC, San Diego's wholly owned corporation for I.T. services. While SDDPC may have been a good or even great idea in the late 70's early 80's, it's is and has been a financial albatross, for years.

She also cozied up to Spanos, and others of the so called elites. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to learn the 97 expansion of Jack Murphy Stadium was hatched during the Chargers only SB appearance in Miami.

Of course the City didn't really have the money for the expansion then either, not enough from bond sales to cover the cost overruns, not enough in the treasury and no reserves. So she tapped Irwin Jacobs, Qualcomm's founder, and Republican, and gave away the naming rights for $18M to close the gap. Naming rights going three or four times that amount in other cities. Just like a junkie, willing to do most anything to get the fix, our politician sold the farm to hide their financial house of cards.

Then the Uberrara, Ewell and Murphy years. But instead of standing up and being ethical, the answer was MP2 and get out of town before anyone REALLY discovers what's been going on for years.

Betcha Ron Roberts counts his lucky stars each and everyday he's over there at the County Gov't. Guess the old saying, "Be careful with what you wish for" has real meaning for Ron these days?

You see it all of this and more that gets under my skin. The ONGOING vilification of hard working men and women, the so called front line workers that's really just wrong. All while the politician, city executives and management bureaucrats laugh all the way to the bank.

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Don Bauder Jan. 29, 2011 @ 1:53 p.m.

Good history. Golding cozied up to both Spanos and Moores and both helped her bid for Senate. Remember, she was being showcased at that convention because she was running for the Senate. Mercifully, she didn't. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 29, 2011 @ 6:20 p.m.

I have said it all along, Jack McGrory is the one who is most responsible for the mess we are in, and that clown under him too.

McGrory should be in prison. That is the honest truth.

He was either grossly incompentent or a flat out scammer-and it is my belief he was the scammer.

OC's treasurer Citron went to prison for his gross mismangement of OC's pension fund, well I think that is where McGrory should be. He belongs in prison for causing this.

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Don Bauder Jan. 29, 2011 @ 9:10 p.m.

McGrory claims the blame belongs with those who didn't follow his blueprint for paying back what was stolen from the pension fund. I don't believe him either. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Jan. 29, 2011 @ 8:56 p.m.

Sadly the Statute of Limitation has run on all of those responsible for this debacle. While Golding and McGrory are, in fact, the architects, I believe the UT holds responsibility too. As the only major newspaper in San Diego since God was child, the UT abrogated their responsibilities as Government Watchdog.

Our Country's Founder absolutely knew Government could not be trusted and it's why they included Freedom of the Press in the first amendment to the Bill of Rights. They knew and wanted an active vibrant press to interrogate it's leaders so they included the clause to prohibiting the government from interfering with the printing and distribution of information or opinions.

For too many years and even maybe even today, the UT has been in bed with this city's power brokers.

The result.... corruption and financial ruin beyond anyone wildest imagination.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 30, 2011 @ 9:03 a.m.

While Golding and McGrory are, in fact, the architects, I believe the UT holds responsibility too.

While all the elcted officials hold some responsibility for the underfunding, I would not blame Golding or any of the others nearly as much as McGrory. McGrory was the one running the finances and was the one with THEE responsibilty to do due diligence on City books and records and make appropriate recommendatiosns to the elected council members. They are not the experts and rely on McGrory and the other financial experts.

I don't have any problems assigning 20% of the blame to Golding and the rest as a group, but 80%, or the vast majority, sits in McGrory's lap.

Just saying the guys names, knowing he is pulling a major 6 figure pension, knowing he went to work for Sol Price at a 6 figure salary makes my blood boil. If I could file a civil lawsuit to have him run out of town it would be Job #1.

McGrory is a disgrace to the law and the State Bar. Why doesn't the Bar investigate him?? For financial fraud???.... there is no SOL on that.

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JustWondering Jan. 30, 2011 @ 10:45 a.m.

To be fair, according the this UT piece in December 2005 McGrory receives a city pension of $7195 a month which is less than a six figure pension each year. . http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20051218/news_1n18mcgrory.html .

But look at the author, Gerry Braun, who now works for Sanders as director of special projects, whatever that is. He also earns a substantial salary which I believe is well over the six figure mark.

Nevertheless, the whole article is a great historical record of the times and events of the McGrory era. Many of those who worked directly with McGrory remember his decisions, policies and juggling of the books.

In the opinion of many, those actions were precursors necessary for San Diego to earn its lasting, and endearing name, Enron By the Sea.

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Don Bauder Jan. 29, 2011 @ 9:12 p.m.

Speaking as someone who wrote for the U-T for 30 years, I really can't argue with your analysis. Best, Don Bauder

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Dennis Jan. 30, 2011 @ 8:10 a.m.

The city has been running a deficit for as long as I can remember. In the late 90's the city was $11M in the hole at year end. I remember commenting at the time that if the city couldn't balance the budget when the economy was booming what happens when there is a recession.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 30, 2011 @ 8:55 a.m.

I remember commenting at the time that if the city couldn't balance the budget when the economy was booming what happens when there is a recession.

==== Excellent point, and we now know the answer.

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Don Bauder Jan. 30, 2011 @ 7:20 p.m.

And it's not an ordinary, garden variety recession. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Jan. 30, 2011 @ 7:19 p.m.

San Diego sure found out. That's what happens when you have a structural deficit, as San Diego has had for years. Best, Don Bauder

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