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What's another couple of months when three years have already passed? That's what some downtown residents must be thinking after hearing that the Audit Committee will not discuss an audit of the Downtown Property and Business Improvement District at this month's meeting.

The discussion is considered the first step in finding out how the City plans to refund residents who were overcharged on their annual assessments.

Nearly two years ago, The Reader published a story on the faulty engineer's report which cost downtown residents approximately $300,000. A year later, the Voice of San Diego also ran a story.

But, despite the complaints from residents and media coverage, the City has done, well, nothing. No refunds have been issued, even though residents were told as far back as September 2009 that refunds were on their way.

"We are working with the comptroller’s office on issuing refunds. We will submit refund checks to the owners in your unit,” read one email from Luis Ojeda, a program manager in the City Planning and Community Investment Department.

So, residents were glad to hear the Audit Committee was scheduled to discuss an audit of the Downtown assessment. But then came an email from Bahija Hamraz, District Director for the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the organization that manages the improvement district.

"I just heard from the Mayor’s office that the Assessment Audit will not be taken to the Audit Committee in April," wrote Hamraz. "The City Attorney’s office has determined that the item may need to be discussed in closed session and it has been pushed back to May, or later."

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Comments

BlueSouthPark April 1, 2012 @ 9:39 p.m.

In San Diego, with Sanders, Goldsmith, and the council, every day is April Fools'.

Closed session is always for legal questions, such as "is the city responsible for this?" The answer from the city attorney's office is typically "only if someone sues and the court orders refunds." You see here exactly what happens when people don't sue, and instead sit back and wait politely. April Fools!

Hey, here's a brilliant idea: some go-getter DCA should just write some city code that is so full of bureaucratic nonsense that no one can ever sue the city. The council will fall all over themselves approving that. Problem solved!

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nostalgic April 2, 2012 @ 2:08 p.m.

The city has a lawsuit to try to collect from the Engineer before they part with the money themselves. Not sure what the status of that lawsuit is - perhaps the Engineer did not agree it was their fault.

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