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There were two themes in the feedback to the column I wrote today that I wanted to address.
A couple of people have mistakenly assumed that I was telling Mike Aguirre that he needs to be “polite.” That’s my fault for not making this crystal clear: I don’t care if he’s polite. Granted, a lower key assault could help here or there, but I’m not overly concerned if he doesn’t show proper deference to the town patriarchs.
Second, I keep getting these comments from people saying that other than the pension crisis, the Gwinn years were great. They say the people that were working on pension issues were just a “small portion” of what is essentially the largest law firm in the city.
I should have made this clear as well: The pension crisis is only a part of what I was thinking of as well.
The Kroll report hardly focuses only on pension issues when it talks about the former city attorney’s administration of the office. The list of negligence and illegitimate manipulation of the city’s internal operations is long and depressing.
The fraudulent financial disclosures, the deliberate violations of the Clean Water Act that forced residents to subsidize industries like Kelco, the unchecked overuse of closed sessions and secrecy, the recklessly overlooked discrepancies between the City Charter and the Municipal Code, the fumbles with the Chargers (I’m a master of football puns), the De La Fuente (near?) disaster, the service-level agreements and illegal transfer of funds between city departments and on and on and on.
And then there were the moments of confusion. Anybody remember when Councilman Charles Lewis died and city attorneys ran around without a clue of what to do so they let the politicians decide on a question that was purely legal?
And then, of course, the pension. You’ve probably heard enough about how wrong that one went for now.