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Who formed the mayor’s task force that’s investigating ways out of the city’s financial mess? It should be an easy question, but it isn’t.

Mayor Jerry Sanders asked that it be created, the chairman of the panel told us two weeks ago. No, the mayor said last week after we obtained a draft of the report: “This is not something that I convened.”

This matters because the task force, at least to judge by a draft report we obtained, supports measures — possibly including bankruptcy — that the mayor opposes. But, as our story explains, the task force is tied to him whether he likes it or not.

Also on our site today:

  • You may have seen our story this week exposing the city of San Diego’s false claim that always it fixes potholes within 72 hours of hearing about them. In fact, our analysis shows it can take much longer than that.

    We’ve followed up with more number crunching that shows that 183 complaints took more than 100 days to resolve and five complaints took longer than a year. We’ve also got details about how things might get worse thanks to budget cuts.

  • A confusing city report led us to publish incorrect info last week about the fate of Sunday hours at 12 San Diego libraries under the mayor’s budget proposal. In fact, the mayor is proposing that only the downtown Central Library and three branches stay open on Sundays.
  • In the latest development in an ongoing saga, we report that “a former employee who is suing the San Diego County Office of Education alleging wrongful termination has been sent back to work, only to immediately go on paid leave.”

    The employee, who says he made $110,000 annually and thinks he might make more now, had made allegations about conflicts of interest at the office.

    Also in the education world, a new report on the fitness of the state’s schoolchildren has been released. You can look up results by school district, local school and grade level.

  • Hey you! Yeah, you! Drop that hand sanitizer! Why? Because it could be killing healthy bacteria on your skin, says UCSD’s chief of dermatology. We talk to him about his new research that he says shows we shouldn’t go too heavy on the Purell.
  • The subject of our Photos of the Day has horns to rule them all (and inspires our kid-friendliest photo soundtrack yet).

Elsewhere:

  • The U-T says Mayor Jerry Sanders met yesterday with two county supervisors to talk about a new football stadium downtown. What went on in the meeting? All we know is they think the Chargers are a “regional asset.”

    In 2007, the Sanders and the supervisors made a big deal about forming a formal partnership for the stadium push, but, as we reported later, that fizzled out quietly.

  • “The enforcement staff of California’s political watchdog agency yesterday recommended a $20,000 fine against Assemblyman Joel Anderson for violating campaign contribution laws,” the U-T reports.
  • The criminal trial of the proprietor of a 1,600-member Kearny Mesa medical marijuana collective is nearing an end. (CityBeat)
  • Bloomberg reports that Sempra Energy, parent company of SDG&E and “owner of the largest U.S. natural-gas distributor, won a jury verdict in a lawsuit with the California Department of Water Resources over failure to build a power plant on time.” The jury trial took place here.
  • The Watchdog Institute, the U-T’s non-profit journalism spin-off, reported this week that most registered sex offenders in the county illegally live too close to schools and parks. CityBeat, which extensively examined the debate over sex offenders last year, is questioning the story’s numbers.
  • Finally, a new report says the average pro baseball player’s salary clocked in recently at nearly $3 million. San Diego Padres salaries were second from last, at $959,000. Only the Pittsburgh Pirates were lower.

    Overall, salaries rose by just 2.4 percent over the past year.

    It’s tough all over.

— RANDY DOTINGA

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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