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.


Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.