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San Diego city water officials don’t have a crystal-clear track record when it comes to credibility.

Earlier this year, they greatly exaggerated how difficult it was for water officials in the Irvine area to set up a system that steeply fines those who use too much water.

Now, the city’s top water official says his department isn’t pursuing a similar idea, prompting the Taxpayers Association CEO to say that the mayor hasn’t been straight with the business community.

For a closer look at the City Council’s debate, check our live coverage of Monday’s meeting via Twitter.

In other news:

  • The beginning of the school year seems to have spawned more havoc than usual in San Diego. Parents at several schools are complaining about losing teachers just weeks into the school year.

    Also in schools, officials today will consider postponing nearly $100 million in school construction; they’re being given a couple options. Yet the downtown schoobrary project, estimated to cost the district $20 million, is still on the fast track.

  • The rainy season is almost here, but the winter’s wet stuff isn’t likely to affect water restrictions unless there’s more rain than average.
  • Also on our site today: We examine the city independent budget analyst’s review of the city’s five-year forecast, and guest blogger Murtaza Baxamusa says San Diego needs to finally look at raising revenue to cover the $179 million deficit and says “the leadership of America’s Finest City has slashed, chopped and burnt its fineness.” …

    The picture isn’t pretty for hotels in San Diego and across the state, with many now in the same predicament as downtown’s W Hotel, which defaulted on its mortgage payment last summer. …

    And our Photo of the Day — Warning! Lousy pun coming! — is on the soleful side.

  • Elsewhere: The people behind the local Rock ‘n’ Roll Mart have sent checks totaling more than $344,000 to the city and county, “reimbursing taxpayers for inappropriate discounts and payouts received over the past decade.” (U-T)

    Sorry, San Diego. You’re not the smartest one in the class. In fact, you’re pretty much par for the course in the intelligence department.

    According to a new ranking by the Daily Beast, San Diego is tied with Indianapolis as the 20th smartest city in the country.

    No. 1 is Raleigh-Durham; cities that are listed as brighter than San Diego include Nashville, Milwaukee and Kansas City.

    I demand a recount.

    Meanwhile, a new survey ranks San Diego fourth (New York City is No. 1) on a list of places where Americans could like to live.

    Kansas City is nowhere to be found. Take that, barbecue brains!

— RANDY DOTINGA

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