Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008 | So now it develops that former SEDC president Carolyn Smith was awarding herself and her staff bonuses for holidays, for longevity, for “incentives,” all done unilaterally with no other approvals required. She was working with a board, the majority of whose terms had expired.

SEDC, CCDC, the Convention Center and the San Diego Data Processing Corporation are all entities created by the City, spending public funds for purposes authorized by the city council. The lack of oversight is astounding. Small matters like 28 percent tips on questionable meals are indicative of what happens when officials freely spend other people’s money. They don’t treat it as they would their own. That’s to be expected.

Obviously this requires that oversight be provided. In an earlier fiasco involving the San Diego Data Processing Corporation, it turned out that one of the council members was supposedly furnishing oversight and hadn’t done so. Here there was no oversight at all. I shudder to think what would be revealed by an audit of CCDC or the Convention Center, both of which have lots more public money to play with than SEDC. The mayor and council have to get their collective act together and start closely watching what’s going on with other people’s money. Who’s in charge, here, anyway?

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