Congratulations to our own Andrew Donohue, who won a watchdog award from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association last night for his investigative story on the Southeastern Economic Development Corp.

KUSI’s Michael Turko won for his coverage of the city of San Diego’s attempts to develop a park in City Heights’ Fox Canyon. The organization also honored several government agencies for being watchdogs of taxpayer money:

  • San Diego County’s government was honored with the “Grand Golden Watchdog Award” for approving a proposal to control retiree health care costs.
  • The Otay Water District won for a project that recycles water and uses the once-discarded agua to irrigate golf course and other landscapes in eastern Chula Vista.
  • The city’s San Diego Medical Services Enterprise won for its public-private partnership between the city of San Diego and the private company Rural/Metro of San Diego.

Several government agencies took home less prestigious fleece awards, which the association describes as recognizing “wasteful, inefficient or downright absurd uses of taxpayer dollars.”

  • The airport authority took home its second consecutive fleece award for its spending. The authority’s executives have repeatedly flown first-class; Thella Bowens, the authority’s chief executive, has had Southwest Airlines ship in barbecue from Texas for an employee appreciation event.
  • The city of Solana Beach for a costly special election.
  • The city of San Diego for its management of Brown Field and Fox Canyon.
  • The city of Chula Vista for receiving free tickets to Coors Amphitheater events.

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