nostalgic April 25, 2012 @ 2:23 p.m.

This is a Maintenance Assessment District or a PBID with another name and no state restrictions. What DOES the city get back from all these people? The amount of money that stays inside offices is staggering - the flower baskets are to make you happy spending it. Please, everyone who reads this article needs to keep an eye on the city's latest scheme.


downtownrealist April 25, 2012 @ 12:48 p.m.

Just to be clear, the Downtown San Diego Partnership paid LiMandri's $10,000 January invoice with public money, not from private Partnership funds. The Partnership's Clean & Safe program's bank account, which is used to pay all of LiMandri's $10,000 per month consultant contract invoices, is reimbursed monthly for all Clean & Safe program expenses from assessments paid by downtown property owners. (Assessments are supposed to be used for services of direct benefit to the properties that generate those particular funds.)


oldcitizen April 25, 2012 @ 1:31 p.m.

It wasn't only $10,000 in January. LiMandri has been paid $10,000 every month since May of 2011 with Public money. His invoices list a few "consulting" tasks each month. A lot of graffitti and trash could be picked up with this money.


madhatter April 25, 2012 @ 2:43 p.m.

Well, well well, the benefits that maintenance assessment districts offer are zero, if not look at the rightly dissolved MAD (Hey! where is our money?). People like Li Mandri and many like him exist thanks to are great representatives. So, my advice is, be careful for whom you vote in the coming elections.


BlueSouthPark April 25, 2012 @ 2:53 p.m.

The killed Vargas bill, which Li Mandri apparently wrote, was a modified PBID that eliminated the biggest hurdle in the existing state Property & Business Improvement District law, the requirement that 50% of all property owners in a proposed district sign a petition asking to go to a vote on forming a district. Li Mandri and the City Council evidently think the reduced percentage, 30%, will fly in San Diego as an ordinance, because the private business groups that would benefit will rally in support. In 2002, when Li Mandri and Vargas tried to push a similar bill, AB2561, it was vetoed by the governor, who wrote:

...this bill offers no compelling reason why the assessment period should be extended so significantly, or for why the percentage of property owners signing a petition in support of such a [bill] is reduced from 50% to 30%. I am committed to the principles of smart growth and urban revitalization, but I do not believe that this bill provides the proper balance between these principles and those of fair and just taxation.

Vlad Kogan is exactly right: the types of property assessments that Li Mandri is always involved in creating are terrible. They are terrible because Li Mandri's self-serving fiefdoms do not address financing local needs, but, instead, address only the financing of luxuries and private groups. Li Mandri-style assessment districts finance private business groups (who will be the 30% signing the petitions and asking to be appointed managers), whose members in turn use the money handed over to them by the City for empowerment, personal leverage, and to finance their rent, office supplies, phone and computers, salaries for staff, directors, and managers, parking, lunches, promotions, retreats, and decorative luxury items such as flower baskets, decorator trash cans, and banners, not infrastructure. At least half, if not much more, of all of the assessments, which are public (taxpayer) money, are wasted on overhead. At the same time, the City, as administrator, is also spending money overseeing the business group contractor, more overhead.

Public-private partnerships are never economical, but are fiercely advocated by those who benefit financially from them and have come to expect them as a way of life in San Diego. The Downtown San Diego Partnership is a case in point: the board has no legal ground to allocate money to Li Mandri for the purpose of drafting state and local code. All of assessments are required to be spent on special and proportional benefits to the properties that are assessed.


historymatters April 26, 2012 @ 6:21 p.m.

Amen!!!! Beware of the public private partnership!!! It is being pushed by both sides as a great solution. its just a way to syphon tax dollars to special interests in a way that leaves citizens out of the loop. It always sounds good on paper. Who doesnt want to improve their neighborhood? look what the biggest public private partnership redevelopment has gotten us...unbelievable blight and enormous debt. he City is demanding 6.5 billlion dollars in state tax dollars for development projects. and there is no accountability and the gov is not standing up to them. So even though they are "dead" they created this entity to still have authority and there is nothing we can do about it. 1 more reason to vote no on any tax increases. doesnt matter what they say its for. it just goes into the giant sluch fund.


InOmbra April 25, 2012 @ 6:34 p.m.

And here's Marco! http://granicus.sandiego.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=15&clip_id=4997

Starting at 00:5:33, Marco...go on, and at and 00:6:15 and 00:06:50, see Marco's admissions that the code he wrote in 1998 and 2003 has "some problems." Ha ha!

Watch Marco nervously scratch and fidget. Watch Marti and Todd love them some Marco. Write your City Attorney and tell him what you think. And yes, if you keep watching, you see Marti talking to Hueso's brother about his taxi cab business.


GHH2 April 25, 2012 @ 5:44 p.m.

Li Mandri is a schemer who, as owner of a private, profit making entity has no right whatsoever to put his hands into the taxpayer's pocket. If he has such good ideas he needs to market them AND SELL THEM TO THE PUBLIC...who can then decide whether they want to buy what he is selling, OR NOT. Doing it through property tax additions/manipulations is out and out piracy. And the council members who support this are co-conspirators and need to be held accountable. They are stewards of the public's treasure and have a duty to ensure that the public's money is spent wisely. When was the last time an audit was performed on where our Property taxes are spent and how? We need to have an audit to see if our public officials are acting responsibly and wisely. And if they are not, they need to be thrown out of office. Everyone is going through hard times and having to make hard decisions. Decisions on what are priorities and what are non-essential's. And I can see no reason whatsoever that our public officials be exempted from these hard times and hard decisions. if they can't come up with more efficient and creative ways to do their jobs then they need to stop sucking at the public teat and step aside to let other, more worthy people serve the public. Remember that. You are public servants, not rulers.


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