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Thursday, July 6, 2006 | Councilman Jim Madaffer should resign, but he probably will not, because nobody in San Diego city government ever does, unless they are under threat of criminal proceedings. Even then, it usually takes a conviction. Instead, perhaps we should seek to overturn the dubious schemes this shady councilmember has brought about. The “elephant in the room”- to paraphrase Mr. Madaffer from a few City Council meetings ago – is the Grantville Redevelopment Project.

Last year a CityBeat article illuminated Mr. Madaffer’s hiring of Colleen Windsor, Dick Murphy’s former press secretary, as “director” of Grantville redevelopment. Given that this position at best duplicates the job description of “manager” of Grantville redevelopment, which is staffed by the Redevelopment Agency, and that Ms. Windsor has practically no qualifications for the job, her hiring can only be seen as a patronage position.

It is now widely accepted that Ms. Windsor’s salary is mostly responsible for generating Mr. Madaffer’s huge FY06 District 7 deficit, which came to light last month. This forced Mr. Madaffer to spend his district’s slush fund on Ms. Windsor’s salary. Most of the other council offices call this money “infrastructure” and “PC” funds, and they spend it on infrastructure and computers.

The most damning bit of evidence, however, is the recent revelation that Mr. Madaffer sought to silence one of his critics by contacting her boss. Cindy Martin evidently believes, as the majority of Grantville business owners and residents do, that Grantville is in no rational way blighted, and therefore should not be subjected to redevelopment. Since Grantville is not blighted, who would benefit from its redevelopment? The recent article in San Diego Magazine on San Diego’s dysfunctional government gives us a clue. It says, “Mr. Madaffer is reportedly posturing for…a spot in the city’s redevelopment office.” Could he have created the Grantville project to provide himself with a job after his council term expires? Then again, perhaps this is part of his “jihad” to benefit his cronies.

Either way, the city council should step in and stop Grantville redevelopment, before this albatross gets off the ground.

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