Brian Peterson

Brian Peterson Sept. 12, 2012 @ 9 a.m.

“Filner wants to set up a neighborhood investment corporation…” Okay, so what is a neighborhood investment corporation? I did a brief online search. Evidently, Washington, D.C. has one, which is funded with property tax. And there was one in Michigan that went broke. Is Filner’s neighborhood investment corporation different from Jerry Sanders’ Civic San Diego?

Is Filner’s an infrastructure financing district? There are multiple bills coming out of the Legislature to make it easier for cities to establish infrastructure financing districts. Even Ben Hueso authored one.

Mainly, these bills would allow cities to establish one of these without a public vote. Their funding source would be some version of tax increment financing. And they would have eminent domain powers to fight something as vague as climate change. Would the Chargers’ new stadium have a retractable roof covered in native plants and solar panels?

The Chargers could even get a new stadium via redevelopment. The Successor Agency (the City Council) is intent on putting every payment—valid or not—on the enforceable obligation payment schedule for the former Redevelopment Agency. The Oversight Board rubberstamps these payments as they come up for review, and the state Department of Finance seems like they would like to wash their hands of the whole thing. Would Filner, if elected Mayor, put an end to this abuse?


patflannery Aug. 29, 2013 @ 8:22 a.m.

Don: I will volunteer as her tail gunner, with a shotgun. Let them dare take pot shots as her. On second thoughts I don't think she would need any protection. It's the media that would need shotguns. We want Fran!


laplayaheritage Dec. 18, 2013 @ 2:03 p.m.

First thanks for the important story.

After our complaint back in 2006 the Code Monitoring Team (CMT) promised to abide by the Brown Act and post their Agendas online before meetings are held. Prior, the CMT would publish the Agendas after the meeting already took place.

It is sad City Attorney Goldsmith and Interim Mayor Gloria are under the impression a legal loophole exists to Brown Act compliance. It does not. If the City Council refuses to act, our State Attorney General Kamala Harris should be asked for a legal opinion to overrule our timid City Council and City Attorney. One of the main issues former City Attorney Mike Aguirre pushed was compliance with the Brown Act for all public meetings in the City of San Diego.

"In addition, this Office is very concerned about the legality of certain “ad hoc group” meetings (attended by representatives from three Council District offices, the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst, the City Auditor and Comptroller’s Office, the San Diego Housing Commission, and the Mayor's policy staff), which have been conducted in private (and which the “ad hoc group” intends to continue conducting in private) to review the history of the City's management of the CDBG Program, recommendations for future CDBG Program years, and the City’s CDBG Strategic Plan for FY 2010. Under the Ralph M. Brown Act, California Government Code section 54952.2(b) (also known as the “serial meeting prohibition”) states, in relevant part, “[A]ny use of…personal intermediaries,… that is employed by a majority of the members of the legislative body to develop a collective concurrence as to action to be taken on an item by the members of the legislative body is prohibited.”


BlueSouthPark Dec. 19, 2013 @ 8:07 a.m.

Good investigative reporting. The current Code Monitoring Team principals named here have many community planning group connections and long histories in land use/development businesses. Nine lives, indeed. I hope to see the Brown Act strictly enforced for this unelected group in the future.

To Mr. La Cava: simply examining histories and actions of people isn't taking a cheap shot. If the record is one of self-serving and corrupt behavior, that's the record that was created. The Reader article is appropriately titled: foxes eat chickens - it's what they do. If the chickens could decide on the overseer of their community, they would not choose a fox. They would at least like to know when the foxes were meeting and what they were planning. A lot of chickens might be able to overwhelm a few foxes.

To Janet O'Dea: Community Planning groups are not always what they appear to be. Code Monitoring Team allies in the business community and City DSD, in 2010/2011, infiltrated the Greater Golden Hill Community Plan update meetings, with a goal of suppressing any negative discussion of companion units ("granny flats"). The City, with complete support by the SD Planning Commission and the realtor/builder business community, was then quietly changing the Land Use code to allow these second units in single-family-zoned neighborhoods such as South Park. The tables at the Greater Golden Hill meetings each had a at least one pro-companion-unit community member who worked for the City, was the partner of a City worker, or was in the building/development trade, but who did not identify themselves as being such, to monitor and suppress any antagonistic discussion of companion units. This happened: if the discussion at a table led to the subject, the plants would say "Oh, I don't think this is the right place to discuss this..." and the whole consensus set-up would move the talk quickly away from bringing that issue up to the room at large.

That said, one of the CM Team members, a very good fox, attorney Rebecca Michael, has a long history of rallying the realtor/developer community to change the code to allow companion units. In 2005, she wrote an article for the SD Daily Transcript decrying the code. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to allow second units in 2011, as reported in the Reader. I'm sure that the CMT had a great deal to do with that.


Diogenes Dec. 20, 2013 @ 11:47 a.m.

So much for transparency.

Good reporting, Dorian.

Circumventing the Brown Act could be actionable. Our Interim Mayor and our City Attorney allow this kind of lobbying? These people take money from developers and then give impartial advice. How kind. The usual suspects again. If I were a big developer, I would know exactly who to call to get around regulations and zoning while making it look like recommendations from disinterested people.

Do they astroturf as well, or it that extra? I know some unemployed bloggers....

Paradise Plundered Redux.


HonestGovernment March 11, 2014 @ 8:17 a.m.

As Norma Damashek recently wrote in her Numbers Runner blog, "there are too many years of inbreeding" in this city.

The hidden government Pat F correctly cites is not all that invisible, largely thanks to Pat and The Reader. Pat documented many intermarriages, as well as vicious battles among city personnel, when they didn't go along with the status quo. On 6/25/2008, Stacey Fulhorst, involved in supporting Sanders in his managed-competition contract give-aways, is described by Pat, in BlogofSanDiego, as "Casey Gwinn-trained and establishment-compliant." Surprise! You cannot have an independent, honest ethics officer in Our Town.

Luna survived attack in fall of 2012 from within Sanders' circle when his audits on building permits and DSD came too close to the truth. Enter well-known players named Broughton and Goldstone. Luna, of course, used Sanders' nemesis Aguirre as his attorney! And of course, as the UT wrote, "The investigations have apparently been spearheaded over the past six months by some combination of the Mayor’s Office and the City Council’s Audit Committee, which is chaired by City Councilman Kevin Faulconer." Luna seems to be getting along just fine, now.

Inbreeding can lead to extinction after long periods of decline, in the animal world. If only.


patflannery March 11, 2014 @ 9:21 a.m.

Don, I have today put in another PRA request for the last five Administrative Regulations so that we can all see who normally signs these things. Like most San Diegans I had never seen one before.


MichaelValentine Sept. 24, 2014 @ 8:46 a.m.

Spot on Don. Over here on 37th Street we only see the broken and uneven sidewalks during the day, at night the lack of street lights keeps them from view.

But let us enrich the already rich instead of keeping San Diego a world class city, third world is good enough.


historymatters April 2, 2014 @ 8:37 p.m.

Look at my blog and how many articles I have about her and Jennifer LeSar....they both need to be investigated. They are not helping the poor. they are pimping the poor for profit.


monaghan June 11, 2014 @ 9 p.m.

Kevin Beiser's only shortcoming is that he has been unable as school trustee to put the education of students at the top of the budget and bureaucratic list of things-to-do. In this, he has decades of well-meaning company.

Ten years ago, downtown business moguls and the Chamber of Commerce teamed up to elect and try to run the Board of Education and they named a politically ambitious litigator without education background to be superintendent. Today, Labor dominates the Board of Education: trustee Richard Barrera is also head of the local AFL-CIO Labor Council; every Board member takes campaign money from Labor; and the local teachers union SDEA has become a member of that Labor federation. Last year this group named its own superintendent: a green local elementary school principal.

Contrary to the churlish criticism of frequently AWOL ex-trustee Scott Barnett, Kevin Beiser is a genuinely good person -- hard-working, personable, up-front, devoted to kids. He does willingly and open-handedly participate in community events, such as emceeing a too-long Saturday night concert by the San Diego Children's Choir earlier this year. He is the first gay trustee on the San Diego Board of Education and he is a middle school math teacher of uncommon skill.

Personally, I'd like to see Kevin challenge Todd Gloria for Susan Davis' seat in Congress. He has more to offer the community than the calculating Gloria and his talent would be wasted in Sacramento.


Sjtorres Aug. 22, 2014 @ 11:01 a.m.

"Latino Caucus" Segregation based on ethnicity is not a cool thing. Anyway, Hueso has a long history of questionable ethics, legal issues and appearances of corruption. The People deserve better. He needs to resign.


MichaelValentine Oct. 20, 2014 @ 7:19 p.m.

Gee Don this story seems like chum for the new stadium crowd. People around here paint their houses Chargers colors, blue and yellow. (Not real good as house décor but such is fandom)

I'd say let's invest in rehabbing Qualcomm Stadium but looking at where it sits and Papa Doug's love of Mission Valley housing I'm thinking a plan is in place and waiting.


Visduh Jan. 15, 2015 @ 11:31 a.m.

Yeah, I just refuse to listen to "Sully." He gets some things right, but too much of his commentary is moronic.


Don Bauder Jan. 22, 2015 @ 9:29 a.m.

aardvark: I feel that if the Chargers choose to stay in San Diego, they have no choice but to accept a rehabilitation of Qualcomm. As I have been saying, Forbes says the family is worth $1.2 billion. But the Chargers alone are worth $1 billion. And the Spanoses are going to put their last $200 million into a new stadium? They would be crazy to do so.

Frankly, I do not believe the Spanos family can afford to move anyplace, particularly Los Angeles, without selling at least half of the team. The City of San Diego, with its massive infrastructure deficit, cannot afford to put money in a new stadium. It might be able to afford a minor rehabilitation of Qualcomm, if the stadium truly needs one. Best, Don Bauder


monaghan Feb. 26, 2015 @ 7:15 p.m.

Wow, BlueSouthPark is pushing an anti-Briggs message here right along with San Diego State's "news" agencies KPBS and Inewsource, vengeful hotel barons and water-carrying GOP establishment servant City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. I haven't seen a lineup like this since, well, that time we had a firebrand Democratic mayor.

To return to the real subject, thanks to Matt Potter for bringing us truthful facts, not innuendo and allegations supported by declamations from "experts."


laplayaheritage April 16, 2015 @ 10:28 a.m.

The best part of the lawsuit is the City Charter Section 117(c) Managed Competition issues.

Our City Charter Section 117(c) states that the City Council can only contract out city functions is the work can be done "More Economically." Everyone employed at Civic San Diego makes Considerable more money than any similar City Employee. There is no way that Civic San Diego can do the work for a lower cost. In the Fiscal Year FY-2013 CAFR, Civic San Diego borrowed $20.4 Million from our General Fund Reserve Balance for extra Civic San Diego Administration. Then the Comptroller wrote off the Gifted $20.4 million as part of a $211 Million Write Off for Successor Agency debt. Shady.

City Charter "Section 117. Unclassified and Classified Services. Employment in the City shall be divided into the Unclassified and Classified Service..." 

Section 117 (c) The City may employ any independent contractor when the City Manager determines, subject to City Council approval, City services can be provided more economically and efficiently by an independent contractor than by persons employed in the Classified Service while maintaining service quality and protecting the public interest. The City Council shall by ordinance provide for appropriate policies and procedures to implement this subsection. Such ordinance shall include minimum contract standards and other measures to protect the quality and reliability of public services."


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