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The mission of the nonprofit group called the Coalition of Neighborhood Councils sounds pretty simple. It’s even in its name: the coalition is supposed to bring people together.
They’re not having a lot of luck with that.
As our story reports, the influential group is facing charges that it’s suffered from mission creep and has become a kind of social-service organization. “This could be considered growing pains,” a city councilman says.
The situation sounds more grim than that: There are calls for resignations and reforms. To make matters more complicated, the coalition’s executive director was sacked late last year and sued.
In other news:
• A correction: Yesterday’s Morning Report botched the results of the race in San Diego’s City Council District 8, which covers the southern parts of the city.
As the story the Morning Report linked to made clear, David Alvarez is in first place followed by Felipe Hueso, B.D. Howard and Nick Inzunza in second through fourth place, although separated by only a few hundred votes. The top two go to the November runoff.
Yesterday’s post mistakenly put Howard in fourth place. I apologize for the error.
As of the newly updated vote totals, the order is still Alvarez, Hueso, Howard and Inzunza. But there’s a 206-vote gap between Hueso and Howard. (To make thigns even more complicated, Inzunza is just 20 votes behind Howard.)
• Newly updated vote totals continue to place San Diego school board member Katherine Nakamura in third place, reducing the odds that the incumbent will make the November runoff. But there’s just 106 votes between her and second-placer Steve Rosen. So hang tight.
• To keep kids away from online smut, “San Diego Unified cut off classroom access to Google tools such as Gmail two weeks ago after the company changed the way some of its searches work — a move to protect privacy that made pornography more accessible.”
This move has made life difficult for teachers and students who rely on Gmail — a hugely popular email service — and Google Docs.
• Let’s play a game we’ll call Assume. Would you assume that people who work for taxpayer-funded public agencies are always forbidden from flying first class? Would you assume they can’t ever approve their own expenses? Would you assume they all have to follow federal guidelines on daily expenditures for things like hotel and food?
If you say yes to any of these questions, you’d be wrong. Game over.
As a new report from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association shows, several local public agencies don’t do any of these things. Employees can fly first class, rubber-stamp their own expenses and blow off federal per diem guidelines.
Sweet! Well, at least it is for the employees, who also — get this — can sometimes get their dry cleaning paid for.
As for the taxpayers, well, things aren’t so sweet.
Our post has more, including details about taxpayer-funded expenditures on alcohol for business purposes. (Getting clients drunk, perhaps?)
By the way, last year we extensively covered one public agency’s very lax rules regarding expenses. As our headline put it: “Airport Officials Continue Flying (and Dining) In the Lap of Luxury.”
And people wonder why bottled water costs a bundle at the airport.
• The county has responded to a critical federal report about its food stamp program, which has come under fire for making it too difficult for the poor to get assistance. As our story puts it, the county says “the feds took a snapshot but didn’t leave enough leeway for the county as it transitioned to a new way of doing things.”
• What becomes two legends most? You can decide in this week’s Photo Caption Contest at the Photo of the Day.
Our photo, from Election Night, is of two prominent men in San Diego politics — a former city attorney and his nemesis, the former editorial page editor of the U-T. (“My comb-over is better than your comb-over” is my favorite submission so far on our Facebook page, although there are a whole slew of others, including “”I’m less relevant.” “No, no, I insist, I’m less relevant.”)
• A rope barrier at the Children’s Pool beach in La Jolla is not going back up immediately despite a request by the City Council,” the U-T reports. Why? Because Mayor Jerry Sanders says there’s no emergency from a legal standpoint.
• The U-T is polling readers about their favorites among the choices for a San Diego-Coronado Bridge lighting scheme. Nobody likes my idea: a big neon “Eat at Joe’s.”
• Some folks, including our own columnist Scott Lewis, wondered if it was a bright idea for labor folks to promote a term-limits measure instead of using the money to specifically targeting the incumbents.
With the primary election behind us, U-T columnist Logan Jenkins offers another view: he wonders if the term-limits measure actually brought enough voters to the polls to force both Horn (with “his warts-and-all familiarity) and Roberts to runoffs in the fall. (Each failed to get 50 percent of the vote.)
Prop. B, Jenkins writes, “is looking like a stroke of political genius. It concentrated the anti-incumbent mood of the electorate and gave it a big North County target. Bill Horn.”
• From the Department of People with Too Much Time on their Hands: Someone has plotted on a map where locals and tourists take the most photos in San Diego County. Among the hot spots: Balboa Park, Sea World, downtown, La Jolla and Coronado.
• Finally, in yesterday’s Morning Report I mentioned that the single men of voiceofsandiego.org are “funny, smart and full of ideas.” (If you didn’t read it, it’s hard to explain why this came up in a daily news digest. You had to be there.)
In interests of equal time (and not getting myself hit in the head with a computer accessory), I should mention that the women of voiceofsandiego.org are even funnier, smarter and more creative than the guys.