Had several that kind of went the same way so I am going to use a recent one by Bill Newsome as a “representative.” It goes like this:

Bill Newsome III wrote on October 02, 2006 10:47 AM: “Mr. Shea, as to your regular references to municipal bankruptcy, some of us out here in citizen-land would feel a whole lot better about giving it serious thought if we had some kind of enforceable commitment from you personally that you would not receive any compensation, directly or indirectly, should the City choose the bankruptcy route If you truly give a genuine damn about San Diego, and honestly believe bankruptcy is the best route for us to take, please commit in writing to a “no compensation” contract, injunction or other enforceable instrument.”

First, I really appreciate Bill’s obvious intent to enhance my credibility on the subject with his suggestion that some folks would think more (better?) of it under his suggested limitations.

I think Bill, and others, may miss the point.

You don’t do me a “favor” by giving fair consideration of a Chapter 9 as a way to comprehensively get at the financial messes of San Diego. If it isn’t the right thing, San Diego will not do it regardless of how much I believe it to be the right thing. In fact, I doubt the city will give it any real consideration until we (finally) face the consequences of the massive debt ball coming our way. Don’t know when (if) that is coming. But, if it does, you won’t need any assurances from me that Chapter 9 is a good idea. Your other options (and they will be few) will be far worse.

Second, knowing something about a certain course of action makes that suggestion no less credible than suggestions that come from folks knowing nothing. At the city, we have now hired lots and lots of good folks that have never dealt with entities in financial distress, and the result is – we are still in financial distress. Actually, we are in way more distress now than we were before we hired them.

Not really their fault. They had no experience, and so it is not surprising that their work didn’t solve any problems.

When Diann was diagnosed with cancer (she has fully recovered) she could have placed your condition for credibility on the doctor delivering the bad news. She did not.

You either believe in what you are being told by the person telling you, or you do not. And then, you get to make your choices and be responsible for the consequences.

PAT SHEA

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