Journalism won’t die if you donate. Support Voice of San Diego today!

The Morning Report arrives in the in-box of thousands of San Diego opinion leaders every day. Sign up here and receive the same service for free.

Last month, some online commenters were none too happy about news in the U-T that the district attorney and sheriff had accepted nice raises, sending their salaries closer to the $300,000 mark.

Wait until these upset citizens get a load of this news: the county pension fund wants to pay its top investment officer $886,000 in base pay and incentives. That would make him by far the highest paid county employee. (Nice work if you can get it, but trust me, you can’t.)

We check in on how the fund is trying to find ways to increase pay for employees. Under a proposal, even a secretary could make over $95,000.

Meanwhile, it was another big news day at City Hall regarding a proposal calling for reform and new revenue. Here’s the latest:

• Councilwoman Sherri Lightner wants the city attorney to prepare a ballot statement that allows the council and mayor to create a commission that could determine if the city had met the reform triggers outlined in a proposal. Failing that, she wants the City Clerk’s Office to make the decision.

You can just bet the City Clerk’s office is looking forward to that.

• The proposed ballot measure calls for reform of retiree health care for city employees. Sounds great. But it’s mighty complicated and may require concessions that are easier said than won.

• What’s next for the new City Hall proposal? The mayor vetoed a public vote, and it may stay vetoed.

• Will the money from higher sales taxes, as proposed, mostly go straight into the pockets of retirees in the form of extravagant benefits? Not at all, says contributor Vlad Kogan, who provides a short answer (“no”) and a long one that’s already attracting attention from commenters.

• The current sales tax in San Diego is 8.75 cents on the dollar. The proposed ballot measure would increase it by half a cent. Do the math and you’d be … wrong. CityBeat helpfully explains why you’ll actually be paying less sales tax overall than now even if the measure passes.

In other news:

• Amid talk of higher property taxes via a parcel tax, one taxpayer advocate complained that San Diego school district is handing out a 7 percent raise even as the district asks for more money.

Is that true? Our Fact Check Department is on the case. The verdict is: Yes, although there are complications.

Also: In other fields, many employees aren’t guaranteed raises during their careers: they may make the same amount after 10 years as after five. But San Diego teachers automatically get raises as they gain higher levels of experience and education.

Also, we’ve posted the latest edition of Fact Check TV. We check supposed facts about taxes, drug use and endangered animals. (Fun fact: These things are all inevitable!)

• Also in education: The district is suing an employee firing panel that disagreed with its decision to fire a teacher who was convicted of child molestation, then freed after his convictions were overturned.

• Everybody knows about the housing bubble that burst. (Our columnist Rich Toscano warned all of you back then that bubbles are bad — bad bubbles! — but did you listen? Also: call your mother. But I digress.)

Anyway, the bubble-bursting hurt more than home prices. It socked local jobs. Toscano takes a look at how the industries that were riding high on the growing bubble were hit so hard in the crash that they accounted for most of San Diego’s job losses.

• Mayor Jerry Sanders has a habit of using colorful language. Remember when he made a memorably vulgar suggestion to his opponent in the 2008 mayoral race? As we recall, some folks made T-shirts out of the phrase.

Well, Sanders did it again the other day, in a more PG-rated fashion, by referring to a pony and a pile of manure. We translate.


• Remember when local Democrats got mad about a loophole that let the local GOP give money to a City Council candidate? Funny story: the Dems just did the same thing themselves. (U-T)

• Finally: First there was the amusing Twitter feed of grumpy truisms spouted by a San Diego father. Then came the No. 1 bestselling book. Now, there’s a CBS sitcom on the way, starring William Shatner and titled “$#*! My Dad Says.”

Two problems. (Well, three if you count Shatner.) For one, the show apparently stinks. The pilot is getting an extreme makeover. For another, the Parents Television Council is warning advertisers to stay away from the show because there’s an implied bad word in its title, and no company would want to be associated with it.

No word if they’re going to go with my suggested title: “Chicken Soup for the Surly Soul.”


Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.