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Good morning from Hillcrest.

  • There’s nothing we could lead off with this morning other than our special report on San Diego County’s social service programs: “Out of Reach.” Our first story, “San Diego’s Safety Net: Riddled With Gaps,” is a thorough and comprehensive look at how difficult it is for the county’s poor to get government assistance.
  • Here’s a guide to the investigation and look for plenty more in the coming days.
  • San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has a blistering op-ed against those who are discussing municipal bankruptcy. Choice words from the piece: baloney, mirage, peddlers of fiction, sham, myth, hucksters and nonsense.
  • The pros and cons of the “strong mayor” system that makes the mayor and council separate branches of government will go before council today. The council is expected to allow voters to decide whether to make the system permanent or return to the previous form of government where the mayor sat with the council. Part of the strong mayor question involves adding a ninth City Council district. Money for that should come out of council members current budgets, says U-T columnist Michael Stetz. The U-T’s editorial board writes that the strong mayor has been successful. For our strong mayor video explainer click here.
  • I have a Q&A with downtown redevelopment agency head Fred Maas and we talk about the need to increase the money the agency can raise, a potential Chargers stadium, and “toil[ing] in the vineyards.” A UCSD doctoral student, who was the target of a Maas criticism, responds in my blog.
  • CityBeat also has an interview with Maas on the Chargers stadium.
  • City Councilman Carl DeMaio spent $32,000 on taxpayer-funded mailers to invite people to his town hall meetings, the U-T reports.
  • An e-mail on county letterhead from top county administrator Walt Ekard against supervisors term limits raised questions about whether he was campaigning on the public’s dime.
  • Want a horse? The San Diego Police Department will be auctioning off their mounted units starting today. The horse patrol in Balboa Park was eliminated in city budget cuts.
  • Police officers are also losing their cell phones because of budget cuts.
  • Say ‘yes’ to a land swap between the Port of San Diego and a private developer over the Chula Vista bayfront, the U-T’s editorial board writes.
  • The viability of the city’s Ethics Commission is the pointcounterpoint in this weekend’s U-T.
  • Mayor Sanders will be played by a veteran character actor in film re-enactment of a federal trial on gay marriage.
  • City Auditor Eduardo Luna will have a new top deputy from his former home in San Jose. The deputy, Chris Constantin, was poised to become auditor of San Jose’s police department, but didn’t take the job after it was revealed his brother worked on the police force.
  • A profile on local government watchdog Ray Lutz and his video camera, both of which make frequent appearances at public meetings, obscure and not.
  • Our latest Fact Check TV edition talks about the glut of foreclosed homes, conventions that won’t be coming to an expanded Convention Center and erstwhile county supervisor candidate Shelia Jackson.
  • In today’s NFL stadium news, the developer of L.A.’s stadium project gave $500,000 to politicians in the second half of last year.
  • Local governments need our charity, writes a North County Times columnist.
  • National City is the most diverse city in the county, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.
  • There could be significant change on Vista’s City Council in November.
  • Escondido could turn its libraries over to the county to run because of budget shortfalls.

— LIAM DILLON

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