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  • What is it? Let bad guys out of jail day?
  • I’ve been meaning to mention this: Over the holiday, I actually heard from David Garcia, the former city manager of Chula Vista, who was chased out after a bizarre kerfuffle over what he was looking at on his work computer.

Here’s what he reports:

I have accepted a job with the U.S. State Department as a contractor.  I was contacted by a headhunter in September who was recruiting personnel with City Management, budgeting, redevelopment and construction experience to work  with USAID( US Agency for International Development).  I will be going to Iraq for the next 12 months to be part of a group called the “Provincial Reconstruction Team”.   This is joint military civilian task force that has two main missions;  First, rebuilding the infrastructure in the towns and cities in Iraq, and second to establish the framework for democratic governance at the local level.

And he says, he had no problems with the background check.

  • Still smarting from the mayor’s rude kidnapping of the Union-Tribune’s incomparable metro columnist, Gerry Braun, I’ve been reluctant to embrace his replacement, Michael Stetz.

Where’d you go Gerry? Did they stuff you in a closet? Are you trapped on the 11th floor of City Hall? If you are, and somebody has smuggled you this blog, place a sign at the window with a picture of a big smiley face on Friday at 4 p.m. The Truth Pirates can get you out.

OK, back to Stetz. The dude is still on probation as far as I’m concerned.

Here’s a snippet from one of his first columns (the emphasis, of course, is mine).

Many of today’s teens grew up in a fairly prosperous time, complete with iPods and cell phones, and they might be in for a rude awakening now that the economy is tanking.

My kids will be no exception. On Christmas morning, when my 15-year-old rushes down to the decorated Christmas fern — who can afford a tree? — she might just be underwhelmed when she tears the wrapping paper off a half-full box of paper clips.

Then he writes this, Sunday, in a piece advocating that the city start charging residents for their trash pickup service:

I took full advantage of my trash service during the holidays.

My trash cans were overflowing with wrapping paper, toy packaging, roasted chicken remains (yum).

But it hardly matters how much I managed to stuff in there. Every week is like Christmas when it comes to trash pickup in the city of San Diego because it’s free for homeowners, like me.

Many businesses, condo owners and apartment renters aren’t so lucky. A person owning a Point Loma hilltop home with an ocean view, like mine, gets free trash pickup, but a renter in North Park does not.

So I’m having trouble following him: Is he feeling the pain of the economic crisis or not? Sounds like his 15-year-old actually did get some presents unless he stuck her with the roasted chicken remains. He seemed like he was trying to forge a bond with those who were cutting way back for the holidays only to, weeks later, write “Ha! Not really. I got a huge house, tons of presents and loads of good food.”

SCOTT LEWIS

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