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Mayor’s office not so transparent

Free information

Irwin Jacobs
Irwin Jacobs

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer proclaimed a new era in transparency when he recently rolled out a new automated way for the public to request records previously hidden away in the dark warrens of city hall. But not all the information has been freely released, especially when it comes to the Balboa Park road and parking garage makeover backed by La Jolla Democratic billionaire Irwin Jacobs.

One example is a June 9 meeting entry from the electronic calendar of the mayor’s office. The subject of the meeting is listed as Qualcomm co-founder Jacobs, “re improvements to Balboa Park.” The sit-down required attendance by Katherine Johnston, Faulconer’s director of infrastructure and budget policy, with “optional” appearances by Mike Hansen, the mayor’s chief of land use and environmental policy, and Matt Awbrey, Faulconer’s public relations chief. But the multi-paragraph details of the confab have been kept top secret by the mayor with a black-ink redaction covering the entire text.

Besides his role in the Jacobs project, lawyer Hansen generated controversy when he got involved last year in lobbying for design changes in a new eatery, Born & Raised, next to his Little Italy condominium. “Few people would receive notice of an outdoor bar less than 20 feet from their bedroom window, proposing hours of 8am-1am, and not wish to provide input into that decision,” Hansen wrote in an email responding to a request for comment last October. “Public employees maintain the right to express their views as private citizens when they elect to work in public service.”

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Irwin Jacobs
Irwin Jacobs

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer proclaimed a new era in transparency when he recently rolled out a new automated way for the public to request records previously hidden away in the dark warrens of city hall. But not all the information has been freely released, especially when it comes to the Balboa Park road and parking garage makeover backed by La Jolla Democratic billionaire Irwin Jacobs.

One example is a June 9 meeting entry from the electronic calendar of the mayor’s office. The subject of the meeting is listed as Qualcomm co-founder Jacobs, “re improvements to Balboa Park.” The sit-down required attendance by Katherine Johnston, Faulconer’s director of infrastructure and budget policy, with “optional” appearances by Mike Hansen, the mayor’s chief of land use and environmental policy, and Matt Awbrey, Faulconer’s public relations chief. But the multi-paragraph details of the confab have been kept top secret by the mayor with a black-ink redaction covering the entire text.

Besides his role in the Jacobs project, lawyer Hansen generated controversy when he got involved last year in lobbying for design changes in a new eatery, Born & Raised, next to his Little Italy condominium. “Few people would receive notice of an outdoor bar less than 20 feet from their bedroom window, proposing hours of 8am-1am, and not wish to provide input into that decision,” Hansen wrote in an email responding to a request for comment last October. “Public employees maintain the right to express their views as private citizens when they elect to work in public service.”

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Comments
2

So much for sunshine at the Mayor's office, especially when it comes to details of Irwin Jacobs' proposed intrusion at Balboa Park. How is it the City is allowed to redact details of such a meeting? National security? As for land-use honcho Hansen, you are fair to include his quote here about a homeowner wanting to weigh in when an outdoor bar is being planned for 20 feet away from a bedroom window: he is quite right.

Aug. 24, 2016

A simple request for the public documents around a street petition for speed humps took a weird -as well as long and slow - turn when the city's PRA folks redacted every name on the public document. They tell me that the human resources department is making the decisions on what's public - and they cited medical records privacy to redact the petition signers' names. Yikes. Improper interpretation of the CPRA is just another lawsuit waiting for an attorney.

Aug. 27, 2016

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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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