Good morning from Hillcrest and welcome to 2010.

We’ll lead off with the start of our five-part series on San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. We deem her the most powerful politician in town and look at her rise and political future. You could be seeing the city’s next mayor or the state’s next attorney general.

Our media partners at California Watch take the broad view on the questionable campaign donations that got local state Assemblyman Joel Anderson in trouble. The article concludes that politicians and their supporters around the state funnel money through county-level political parties to avoid disclosure rules.

Our own Scott Lewis begins 2010 by asking San Diegans to address the big countywide political issues in the coming year. His series of columns starts with Marco Li Mandri, a Little Italy activist who says small targeted governments replacing cities aren’t a bad thing.

Councilman Carl DeMaio discusses his new year’s resolutions (surprise! pension reform!) in the U-T.

From the in-case-you-missed-it file, I discuss the big local political issues coming in 2010 and roundup my favorite stories of the last year. Also, I posted the agenda for this week’s City Council meeting.

The city’s downtown redevelopment agency is setting in motion the second of two studies that would allow for a new football stadium in East Village. This move will allow the agency to collect more tax revenue downtown, for a stadium and other projects, but will be politically difficult to do.

The U-T writes about how higher fees to use city services are forcing changes to some longstanding local recreational groups.

An audit says the city could be taking back more unclaimed money than it has been.

This story, which originally appeared in the Rancho Santa Fe Review, gives an interesting history of a private country club’s long-term lease with the city of San Diego. Critics of the lease are wondering if increased payments from the club could help pay for a park whose funding was axed in the latest round of budget cuts.

A profile of Council President Ben Hueso’s chief of staff Ana Molina-Rodriguez is on her law school alumni website.

In news from other cities around San Diego County, the U-T editorializes that driver’s license checkpoints in Escondido might be illegal and should be stopped. Oceanside is trying to make its downtown more walkable and is scheduling a special election in June to replace a city councilman who became the state’s undersecretary for veterans affairs. It was an unusually tumultuous year in Poway in 2009, the NCT reports.


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