The Morning Report
San Diego news and info
you need to take on the day.

Good morning from Hillcrest.

  • We’ll lead the day with my piece on challenging guaranteed pension rights in bankruptcy. The skinny: Pensions have never been touched in a bankruptcy before and it would take a costly battle with an uncertain outcome if a city tried to cut them. Still, unions and retirement systems might find it in their interest to make a deal to reduce benefits.
  • San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye has about a month to decide if she’ll challenge long-time San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts this June. If she doesn’t run, Roberts looks to have smooth sailing, despite being a Republican in a Democratic district.
  • Meantime, a draft Donna-Frye-for-county-Supervisor Facebook group went live.
  • A left-leaning think tank has updated its report on how much in taxes the city of San Diego collects. The city is still at the bottom in one key indicator among the top 10 cities in California. But a fiscal conservative group is disputing the study’s results.
  • California now owes $51.8 billion in retiree health care costs, pension blogger Ed Mendel reports. Similar debts are one of the largest fiscal problems for states and cities nationwide, but a dissenting view from a union leader argues the issue is overblown.
  • Also, the U-T’s editorial board praises the state controller for keeping an eye on retirement costs.
  • Approving low interest loans aimed at doubling the size of the city’s solar sector and allowing homeowners to retrofit their properties for energy conservation are on City Council’s agenda today.
  • The Ethics Commission fined a group that opposed the city’s ban on alcohol at city beaches $14,000 for campaign finance violations.
  • The lead designer on a plan to redevelop a section of San Diego’s bay front is upbeat the Unified Port of San Diego and the Coastal Commission can work out their differences on public space.
  • The county’s treasurer-tax collector should have released an audit that was critical of his department instead of waiting a year to make it public, the U-T editorializes.
  • The latest edition in our Fact Check TV feature takes on the highlights of our Fact Check blog from last week. We check the mayor twice on different statements he made on outsourcing the city’s IT services.
  • The point-counter point in the U-T this weekend is on outsourcing city services. I will send you to the links, but with a very important caveat. The bylines on the two stories are switched. So white-collar union head Michael Zucchet issues a cautionary tale, while two analysts at a right-leaning think tank speak to the city’s bottom line.
  • Los Angeles NFL stadium developer Ed Roski had two national news stories over the weekend about his push to build a facility and snag a team outside L.A. He continues to insist he’ll have a franchise in time for the 2011 season. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Roski has a shot because it’s all about jobs in California. The Boston Globe says that the project is ready to go.
  • David Malcolm, a former public official who was caught up by a conflict of interest scandal that got him thrown off the Port District’s board, earned more than $1 million last week on a land deal in Arizona.
  • U-T opinion columnist Chris Reed is continuing to hammer County Administrator Walt Ekard over an e-mail he sent out to county employees expressing his opposition for a ballot measure that would create term limits for county supervisors.
  • And last: San Diego’s first mayor born and raised here died last week. The mayor, John Butler, served from 1951 to 1955 and helped institute the one-way street system downtown.

— LIAM DILLON

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