The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.
Ever pondered what the San Diego City Council’s offices look like? Have you ever yearned for a view into the belly of bureaucracy — a peek into the publicly financed hallways of power?
Too bad. You can’t without unanimous council approval — more of an endorsement than would be required to pass the city’s budget.
I wanted to go over to the City Council’s offices this afternoon and photograph people moving through the hallway for a forthcoming budget story. I called Michelle Ganon, spokeswoman for Council President Ben Hueso, to coordinate access.
No problem, Ganon told me. She suggested coming by the 10th floor of City Hall at 1:45 p.m., when people would be headed to council chambers and there would be a lot of movement in the hallways.
A few minutes later, Ganon called back. She said I could not take pictures without prior consent from all of the council offices.
“It’s not been done before and there’s a potential security issue and each of the council offices would have to give all of their permissions,” Ganon said.
What sort of security concerns could arise from a picture of the hallway with people moving around inside, I asked.
“They could glean how the floor is set up,” Ganon replied.
I asked Ganon whether the public should be able to see what its elected officials’ offices looked like.
“I’ve just been told what the rule is and I can’t allow you to do it,” she said.
Clarification: The original version of this post contained a the headline “Council Offices Closed to Public.” The offices are open to the public who have appointments with council members and their staff.