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You might have seen this story a couple of days ago about local municipalities putting together a wish-list for incoming President Barack Obama to consider as he crafts the bailout of bailouts, the stimulus of the stimuli — the big spending plan designed to save the economy.

The Jacumba Airport: Desperately in need of either lawn bowling or a fence. Photo: Rob Davis

Local leaders put together a plan asking for $7.4 billion. It’s a lot of money, yes, but Santa Obama is supposedly talking about an $800 billion or more plan. He could give us $7.4 billion and still have, essentially, an $800 billion plan.

So, what, exactly, are we requesting? I need you to help me look through this list. But I can tell this is just classic.

Here’s a good example: We are asking the new president and Congress for $350,000 for a “lawn bowling green” in Coronado. As a fan of lawn bowling and its more vulgar cousin, bocce ball, I can’t help but approve of this bit of superfluous spending.

How about $350,000 for fencing at the always bustling Jacumba airport? Hey, good fences make good neighbors. Someday the airport might have neighbors to whom it should be good.

Ocean Beach Library: Set for expansion and closure.

But here’s my favorite: Mayor Jerry Sanders and the city of San Diego are asking Obama for $10 million to expand the Ocean Beach library. Yes, this is the library that Sanders and co. wanted to close. In fact, they were adamant — and surprisingly angry — that the City Council resisted this particular request based in part on the idea that it didn’t appear that the mayor had a long-term strategy in mind for the Ocean Beach library and others.

Turns out he has a very clear long-term plan for the Ocean Beach library: close it, then expand it, but keep it closed. That way, you can just tell anyone who complains about it being closed that, look, dude, you got a new library, isn’t it pretty?

Then, when people ask what the point of having a big beautiful library is when you can’t afford to open it, just announce that you’re going to put a school on top of it and they’ll love it.

I’ve called Sandag and the Mayor’s Office for some perspective.


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