• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

It hasn’t been the greatest of political years for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Its last-minute, closed-door deal with Mayor Jerry Sanders to pass the sales-tax-raising Proposition D backfired when proponents failed to persuade skeptical voters that either Sanders or the chamber — both of which have long touted costly taxpayer-financed City projects — had the public’s interests at heart. And recent disclosure documents have reinforced the message, showing that chamber executives aren’t exactly average wage earners.

A key spokesman for the failed measure was chamber president and chief executive Ruben Barrales, a former Bush White House staffer. Federal tax filings covering 2008 show Barrales received a compensation package — including salary, bonus, deferred compensation, nontaxable benefits, and other compensation — with a total value of $372,241. Chief financial officer William Scarfia made $176,601; events vice president William Holman, $162,259; and membership vice president Douglas Holman, $165,175.

According to the Form 990, filed August 12 of this year, the group brought in total revenue of $4,081,142. The disclosure adds that “a group of chamber directors traveled to Mexico City to meet with sub-cabinet government.” That excursion was said to have cost $17,949.

Another wealthy Prop D backer, Julie Meier Wright, chief executive of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, which gets part of its revenue from taxpayers, made $372,209 in 2008, the latest period for which tax returns were immediately available. After Prop D lost, she wrote an op-ed piece in the Union-Tribune calling for the City to make $900 million of cuts over the next five years.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader


monaghan Nov. 26, 2010 @ 10:33 a.m.

Has business' friend Julie Meier Wright taken a pay-cut? For some reason, I seem to recall that in the halcyon early days of her presence here, she made about $500,000 a year. Maybe this lower figure represents the local effect of the Great Recession.


Founder Nov. 26, 2010 @ 3:45 p.m.

It is amazing, although as a long time San Diegan I don't know why it should be, all these folks that work for all these Foundations are raking it in and act as a mutual aid society for each other. All have the required access and spend so much quality time at City Council being supportive on any and all legislation that Staffers provide that increases their take!

Wouldn't it be exciting if every person that spoke at City Council had to disclose how much money (gross, no pun intended) they made and if they have ever done Business with the City before they could speak!


SurfPuppy619 Nov. 26, 2010 @ 4:07 p.m.

Another wealthy Prop D backer, Julie Meier Wright, chief executive of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, which gets part of its revenue from taxpayers, made $372,209 in 2008,

$372K !!!! ....paid for at least partially by taxpayers. And that is just salary, I would ahte to know how much vacation and pension money she is receiving.

This is why we are upside down. She is not worth $372K, not even half of that. Not even a third of that.

These pompus losers are nothing but leeches on society and the taxpaying middle class and poor specifically.


a2zresource Nov. 29, 2010 @ 11:03 a.m.

Legion: the number of San Diego's former administrative assistants who have schmoozed their way into the chief executive compensation bracket. This wouldn't be so bad but for the inverse relationship between increasing personal enrichment and decreasing rendered public good.


Founder Nov. 29, 2010 @ 4:51 p.m.

These Admin. Asst.'s have done the same "churning" of the upper management slots as the other Big Union (PD and FF) to secure top pension payments for themselves at the taxpayers expense; that is why that when the Pension Payment debacle hits, regular folks will not be sympathetic in any way toward those that are ripping all of US off!


Sign in to comment

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!