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Four months later, Bry changes financial disclosure report

Ex-councilwoman offers new version of Airbnb data-mining role

Barbara Bry campaigned against short-term rentals during her term on the council and campaign for mayor against Todd Gloria.
Barbara Bry campaigned against short-term rentals during her term on the council and campaign for mayor against Todd Gloria.

Back on February 23, La Jolla serial entrepreneur and Union-Tribune columnist Neil Senturia slammed down the phone on a reporter when asked about his wife's role in Deckard Technologies.

According to a September 2019 report by Government Technology magazine, the data mining outfit was aimed squarely at the so-called short-term rental market.

"Deckard's co-founder and CEO Neil Senturia, a former real estate developer who has founded or sat on the boards of several software and technology companies, said he started the company in July 2018 to answer a specific question: What percentage of residential improvements over $20,000 in the state of California are done without proper permits?"

There was a second mission as well.

Deckard's chief operating officer Nick Del Pego told the publication that another of the firm's offerings "is intended to help city governments keep up with the impact of online services like Airbnb that help citizens commoditize their properties in new ways, sometimes under the radar."

"He said revenue booked through online rental providers like Airbnb and VRBO in the United States in 2018 was close to $20 billion, according to AllTheRooms.com, with which Deckard has a professional relationship. Given an average transient-occupancy tax over 10 percent nationwide, that should have meant about $2 billion in local taxes."

Airbnb and other so-called short-term rental outfits were political targets of Senturia's wife, ex-city councilwoman and defeated mayoral candidate, Barbara Bry, during her single term on the council and campaign for mayor against the ultimate victor, fellow Democrat Todd Gloria.

After departing office in December of last year, Bry took up the cudgels against city council Democrat Jen Campbell, currently the object of a recall campaign, accused by Bry of reneging on promises "to better control the explosion in short-term rentals in her district."

"The Campbell recall is a grass-roots effort to right those wrongs," wrote Bry in a December 13 opinion piece for the Times of San Diego.

After her exit from the council in December, Bry filed a January 4 leaving office financial statement as required by state law, disclosing an array of assets and income sources she held during 2020.

They included an investment in Deckard Technologies valued between $100,000 and $1 million, described as "Spouse - Data Centric Technologies." The holding was disposed of on November 2, 2020, the filing says.

Elsewhere on the same form, under "Income, Loans & Business Positions (Other than Gifts and Travel Payments),” Deckard Technology was listed as a source to Bry of between $10,000 and $100,000 in gross income.

Under the line "Your Business Position" was typed "Consultant." The consideration was paid, per Bry's disclosure, for "consulting fees.'

When asked during the February interview about the disclosure, signed by Bry under penalty of perjury showing her as a consultant to Deckard, Senturia denied his wife held had that role and terminated the call without further explanation.

Now Bry has filed an amendment dated April 2 and recently posted online by the city clerk's office, removing the checkmark from the "Other" box and placing it instead in a box designated “Spouse or registered domestic partner's income."

The little-noticed change may grow in significance should ethics enforcement agencies, including the city's ethics commission and state's Fair Political Practices Commission, determine the matter needs further investigation and the Campbell

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Barbara Bry campaigned against short-term rentals during her term on the council and campaign for mayor against Todd Gloria.
Barbara Bry campaigned against short-term rentals during her term on the council and campaign for mayor against Todd Gloria.

Back on February 23, La Jolla serial entrepreneur and Union-Tribune columnist Neil Senturia slammed down the phone on a reporter when asked about his wife's role in Deckard Technologies.

According to a September 2019 report by Government Technology magazine, the data mining outfit was aimed squarely at the so-called short-term rental market.

"Deckard's co-founder and CEO Neil Senturia, a former real estate developer who has founded or sat on the boards of several software and technology companies, said he started the company in July 2018 to answer a specific question: What percentage of residential improvements over $20,000 in the state of California are done without proper permits?"

There was a second mission as well.

Deckard's chief operating officer Nick Del Pego told the publication that another of the firm's offerings "is intended to help city governments keep up with the impact of online services like Airbnb that help citizens commoditize their properties in new ways, sometimes under the radar."

"He said revenue booked through online rental providers like Airbnb and VRBO in the United States in 2018 was close to $20 billion, according to AllTheRooms.com, with which Deckard has a professional relationship. Given an average transient-occupancy tax over 10 percent nationwide, that should have meant about $2 billion in local taxes."

Airbnb and other so-called short-term rental outfits were political targets of Senturia's wife, ex-city councilwoman and defeated mayoral candidate, Barbara Bry, during her single term on the council and campaign for mayor against the ultimate victor, fellow Democrat Todd Gloria.

After departing office in December of last year, Bry took up the cudgels against city council Democrat Jen Campbell, currently the object of a recall campaign, accused by Bry of reneging on promises "to better control the explosion in short-term rentals in her district."

"The Campbell recall is a grass-roots effort to right those wrongs," wrote Bry in a December 13 opinion piece for the Times of San Diego.

After her exit from the council in December, Bry filed a January 4 leaving office financial statement as required by state law, disclosing an array of assets and income sources she held during 2020.

They included an investment in Deckard Technologies valued between $100,000 and $1 million, described as "Spouse - Data Centric Technologies." The holding was disposed of on November 2, 2020, the filing says.

Elsewhere on the same form, under "Income, Loans & Business Positions (Other than Gifts and Travel Payments),” Deckard Technology was listed as a source to Bry of between $10,000 and $100,000 in gross income.

Under the line "Your Business Position" was typed "Consultant." The consideration was paid, per Bry's disclosure, for "consulting fees.'

When asked during the February interview about the disclosure, signed by Bry under penalty of perjury showing her as a consultant to Deckard, Senturia denied his wife held had that role and terminated the call without further explanation.

Now Bry has filed an amendment dated April 2 and recently posted online by the city clerk's office, removing the checkmark from the "Other" box and placing it instead in a box designated “Spouse or registered domestic partner's income."

The little-noticed change may grow in significance should ethics enforcement agencies, including the city's ethics commission and state's Fair Political Practices Commission, determine the matter needs further investigation and the Campbell

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