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Will SEDC Board Members Testify on Smith Raises?... and other issues

Word comes from our crime-fighting daily paper that the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) board might have actually approved raises for its now-ex president Carolyn Smith, practically doubling her pay in the decade and a half that she was the heart and soul of SEDC.

Smith's attorney submitted a document as part of a "paper trail" that might prove that her raises were legal. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune this morning, the current lawsuit by Ian Trowbridge contends that there is no authoritative paperwork to show any SEDC board approval in its agendas or minutes of any raises beyond her original salary of $82,639.

Smith's reported salary (without disputed bonuses) this year was reportedly $172,000.

Additionally in dispute is Smith's severance pay for termination "without cause", computed on the remaining months of her contract at the time of termination. Questions surround the two months she remained in office that are arguably not part of the severance pay period, as there apparently is no record that those two months were not paid as the regularly-salaried chief executive of the controverisal corporation.

This writer wants to see the SEDC board members testify that they actually were informed and voted for each of the disputed raises... or not. Without their verification that any payraise paper trail was not simply cooked up at the last minute, that paper trail is as meaningless as the pretty SEDC post cards Smith had mailed out to area residents on a regular basis.


For something totally different...

Where in anything under the National Response Framework or the National Strategy for Homeland Security gave SDG&E authority to unilaterally decide it could shut off power to paying customers, including several water districts, during high wind conditions... WITHOUT informing local emergency planning commissions of the potential hazard to public safety of those shutoffs?

Something about this reminds me of Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Pierson's words on "corporate arrogance" in her prosecution closing arguments during United States v. SDG&E (round 1 in 2007, new trial pending on appeal).

For the results of her closing arguments, see http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/cas/press/cas70713-SDGEVerdict.pdf.

For some background on emergency planning considerations, try to pass the final for FEMA's IS-235 course Emergency Planning at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is235.asp. If you are a City of San Diego employee, then please avoid getting your final answers from your co-workers.

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Word comes from our crime-fighting daily paper that the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) board might have actually approved raises for its now-ex president Carolyn Smith, practically doubling her pay in the decade and a half that she was the heart and soul of SEDC.

Smith's attorney submitted a document as part of a "paper trail" that might prove that her raises were legal. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune this morning, the current lawsuit by Ian Trowbridge contends that there is no authoritative paperwork to show any SEDC board approval in its agendas or minutes of any raises beyond her original salary of $82,639.

Smith's reported salary (without disputed bonuses) this year was reportedly $172,000.

Additionally in dispute is Smith's severance pay for termination "without cause", computed on the remaining months of her contract at the time of termination. Questions surround the two months she remained in office that are arguably not part of the severance pay period, as there apparently is no record that those two months were not paid as the regularly-salaried chief executive of the controverisal corporation.

This writer wants to see the SEDC board members testify that they actually were informed and voted for each of the disputed raises... or not. Without their verification that any payraise paper trail was not simply cooked up at the last minute, that paper trail is as meaningless as the pretty SEDC post cards Smith had mailed out to area residents on a regular basis.


For something totally different...

Where in anything under the National Response Framework or the National Strategy for Homeland Security gave SDG&E authority to unilaterally decide it could shut off power to paying customers, including several water districts, during high wind conditions... WITHOUT informing local emergency planning commissions of the potential hazard to public safety of those shutoffs?

Something about this reminds me of Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Pierson's words on "corporate arrogance" in her prosecution closing arguments during United States v. SDG&E (round 1 in 2007, new trial pending on appeal).

For the results of her closing arguments, see http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/cas/press/cas70713-SDGEVerdict.pdf.

For some background on emergency planning considerations, try to pass the final for FEMA's IS-235 course Emergency Planning at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is235.asp. If you are a City of San Diego employee, then please avoid getting your final answers from your co-workers.

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ADDENDUM

I actually encourage anybody who is a US citizen to take the FEMA Emergency Management Institute independent study courses. Even if you aren't a US citizen, you will find this information useful in dealing with the public debates on emergency planning that most likely involve your tax dollars and your future evacuation plans.

Most of those courses actually state that the final exams are open-book/open-note tests, so no cheating is necessary. This makes sense because emergency managers ought to have position-related job aids on hand during an emergency, so that they aren't just making things up during a catastrophe but are relying on previously-made emergency plans for an effective response: in that sense, the testing conditions match real-incident working conditions.

I have my own portal to FEMA's entire course list for free at http://cemis.stickywebs.com, but nothing is stopping you from taking the free courses (if you are a US citizen) directly at http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.asp (or go to http://training.fema.gov/IS/searchIS.asp?keywords=PDS if you want FEMA EMI Professional Development Series certification as a potential volunteer coordinator.)

Oct. 15, 2008

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