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Del Mar councilmember Don Mosier’s attempt to recover costs from a sewer-backup accident 
led to a lot of bureaucratic crap.
Del Mar councilmember Don Mosier’s attempt to recover costs from a sewer-backup accident led to a lot of bureaucratic crap.

For virus expert Don Mosier, who also serves as a city father of beachy Del Mar, it was a smelly, if not costly circumstance. “A sewer back-up on May 25, 2014 in the City of Del Mar affected residential property wholly owned by Councilmember Mosier,” recounts a September 24 letter from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission to Del Mar city attorney Leslie Devaney. “Mr. Mosier owns a cottage on the property and has a tenant who lives and conducts his business from the cottage.”

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The letter continues: “City staff analyzed the Councilmember’s claim and concluded that $18,182.21 is an appropriate amount of reimbursement for repair costs to his property. However, under the City’s municipal code, the City Manager may only approve settlements of $2,500 or less.” As a result, “The reimbursement for Councilmember Mosier’s claim and associated settlement and release of claims must be approved by the City Council.” The question before the state watchdog agency was whether by submitting a claim for damages Mosier was illegally “influencing” a city decision.

After ten pages of deliberation, the state gave its approval for Mosier, a professor at Scripps Research Institute, to seek recompense. “The City Council may act on Councilmember Mosier’s claim for property damage caused by the City’s sewer system, but as discussed above, the Councilmember must disqualify himself from participating in this decision in his official capacity.”

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Del Mar councilmember Don Mosier’s attempt to recover costs from a sewer-backup accident 
led to a lot of bureaucratic crap.
Del Mar councilmember Don Mosier’s attempt to recover costs from a sewer-backup accident led to a lot of bureaucratic crap.

For virus expert Don Mosier, who also serves as a city father of beachy Del Mar, it was a smelly, if not costly circumstance. “A sewer back-up on May 25, 2014 in the City of Del Mar affected residential property wholly owned by Councilmember Mosier,” recounts a September 24 letter from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission to Del Mar city attorney Leslie Devaney. “Mr. Mosier owns a cottage on the property and has a tenant who lives and conducts his business from the cottage.”

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The letter continues: “City staff analyzed the Councilmember’s claim and concluded that $18,182.21 is an appropriate amount of reimbursement for repair costs to his property. However, under the City’s municipal code, the City Manager may only approve settlements of $2,500 or less.” As a result, “The reimbursement for Councilmember Mosier’s claim and associated settlement and release of claims must be approved by the City Council.” The question before the state watchdog agency was whether by submitting a claim for damages Mosier was illegally “influencing” a city decision.

After ten pages of deliberation, the state gave its approval for Mosier, a professor at Scripps Research Institute, to seek recompense. “The City Council may act on Councilmember Mosier’s claim for property damage caused by the City’s sewer system, but as discussed above, the Councilmember must disqualify himself from participating in this decision in his official capacity.”

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Comments
1

I recommend a back-flow valve to prevent recurrence of city sewage flooding a low-lying private residence. Over time, a back-flow valve can get stuck, so make sure it is accessible for repair and not bricked-over. Otherwise, based on past personal experience, it seems like the price is fair, and the councilman properly recused himself from the vote. As a straight-shooter and politician, I'm sure he appreciates the publicity.

Nov. 29, 2014

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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