Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I don't like the Strong Mayor form of government

Right now, we have a political situation in San Diego that is going to define how we continue on as a city. We have the Strong Mayor form of government in place. With that form of government, we have lost some checks and balances that protected the citizens of San Diego from our duly elected leaders.

Because there is an appearance of ultimate power being wielded by our politicians, or because our City Attorney loves to take on causes that he is outnumbered on, we have a war between the City Attorney's office and the Mayor's office. The whole fiasco is about the dreaded pension fund issue. You know, the 2.1 BILLION dollars that the city allowed to be grafted from our public coffers by civil servants in the form of work credits.

It seems that our Mayor is doing the work of the pension board that he appointed. He is taking action unilaterally, so the pension board does not have to act in open meetings. He wants to allow those extravagant and somewhat questionable benefits to be extended to new employees of the city. Those same benefits that are destroying our credit worthiness and bond ratings as a city.

It is not the Mayor's responsibility to do the pension board's work, nor is it the Mayor's job to oversee the pension benefits of the city's employees. But, here is the rub, the last pension board was indicted and will be tried for their actions that led to San Diego's biggest financial scadal to ever present its ugly head in public so far. If the new pension board violates the Brown Act or involves itself in any wrongdoing, they will be hung out to dry in a judicial sense. You do know whose reputation that will reflect on? The Mayor's, of course!

The citizens of San Diego have two allies to protect our interest from the Mayor and his greedy benefactors. The first ally is Michael Aguirre. That mild mannered and somewhat disheveled lawyer who is always asking pesky questions and interpreting the law to our benefit. The same City Attorney that has spawned radio and television commercials about all of the issues that he is involved in. In my opinion, Mr. Aguirre is doing the best and bravest job I have ever witnessed by a civil servant.

There are a lot of political interests out there who do not care for Mr. Aguirre. I can name a few just to support my statement: the Mayor, a majority of the City Council, Sunroad Development Co., and a large majority of the city's employees. You see, Mr. Aguirre is turning off the spigot of graft and collusion in our city's political machine. He is working for the Citizens of San Diego, not developers and their stooges.

The second ally that we San Diegans can count on is the Municipal Code! The Muni Code, as it is referred to is the best protection that we mere citizens can count on at Golden Hall! The very action the Mayor is arguing to allow is outlined in the Municipal Code. If our politicians can interpret the Muni Code to their whims, we are lost. Please support your City Attorney and let the Mayor know that what he is doing is not appreciated. Write an e-mail or letter stating that he recuse himself from all pension board matters. Remember, this is an issue that has decades of taxation that we will bear. If you want the best outcome from this political fiasco, let the City Attorney do his job unfettered and free of the political collusion by our Mayor and City Council.

-Paul Broadway

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