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Monday, March 31, 2008 | The first annual report from the Securities and Exchange Commission on the state of San Diego’s fiscal morass is here and, no surprise, it says much more needs to be done — way more than what Mayor Jerry Sanders has served up in the last four years.
Voters need to realize that what the SEC calls for will be explicitly undone if voters fall for Proposition C that will appear on our June primary ballot with Mayor Sanders’ stamp of approval. The SEC calls for “independent oversight ” from an Audit Committee, “an independent and professional internal audit function” and “significant additional staff” to accomplish future on-time reporting to taxpayers and to credit-granting agencies.
Last week voiceofsandiego.org reported that Mayor Sanders presently appoints and can fire the City Auditor. Prop C, if passed, will set that mayoral power in city charter stone, and also will allow the Mayor to appoint future Audit Committee members. In addition, Mayor Sanders’ spokesman said he cannot “afford” to increase auditing staff to do catch-up and on-going auditing work — despite research showing that San Diego has five to seven times fewer auditors than comparable cities and that we continue to be years-late in getting past audits and are still barred from bond markets.
I’d say we can’t afford not to have an independent Auditor and Audit Committee and more auditing staff. Nor can we can afford the fox-in-henhouse Proposition C.