He lives in Poway, making him a Powegian, not a San Diegan. He’s not elected to public office. And he runs an office interior firm.

But when Vince Mudd talks, people listen. And act.

Yesterday, the City Council signed off on a report by business leaders — led by Mudd, the incoming president of a local chamber of commerce — calling for even better-defined savings than those in Prop. D. This move could draw support from business leaders for the measure.

But the council’s promises aren’t set in stone.

Meanwhile, an anti-Prop. D councilman made a splash by spotlighting how much the city is spending on pensions: As the U-T notes, he issued a report estimating the city will drop $61 million on 10 people alone over the next 25 years. This comes on top of news that one ex-employee makes $299,000 a year in pension payments and that former councilmembers started taking pensions before the age of 50, more than $46,000 a year in one case.

The big question: Will voters oppose Prop. D because they think these big pensions can be reduced?

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As for those councilmember pensions, there’s a growing movement to change the way pensions work for City Council members. Yes, they’re municipal employees, and they get pensions like everyone else, even if they only work for the city for a short time due to an indictment or whatever. Now, the question is whether the council will treat its own pensions the same as those of other employees as changes loom.

• The new downtown library is slated to include a charter school. So far, so simple. But which charter school will get the space? As we report, it’s a knotty question for the San Diego school district.

• Over at the San Diego Fact Check blog, we examine an NCT editorial that supports the countywide Prop. A, which would reaffirm the county’s policy of not requiring certain types of labor agreements for publicly funded construction projects. This is a big sticking point between labor and business groups.

The NCT likes Prop. A and says a huge percentage of construction companies would drop dead if the agreements were required, a claim that could swing voters to the Prop. A side. But is it true? We’re on the case.

Meanwhile, San Diego Fact Check TV looks at claims regarding the Chargers television blackout, fire stations and the mayor.


• Despite the poor economy, violent crime keeps falling: countywide, violent crime in the first six months of the year was down by 8 percent, and a huge drop in gang murders in the city of San Diego has helped homicides dip to their lowest level in 10 years. Property crime is down too, but even so there were 34,774 property crimes reported. (U-T)

• Spiritual guru Deepak Chopra has plenty of local connections: he’s lived in La Jolla, got ensnarled in a bizarre local 1999 legal case involving allegations of prostitution and blackmail, and gave his name to a center in Carlsbad. Now he’s out with a new book about the prophet Muhammad that, USA Today hints, could put his life in danger. He “admits that he now lets the police know where he is at all times.” Does he mean local police? That’s not clear. I couldn’t immediately confirm whether he still lives here.

• San Diego’s pension system is a mess, but a new report says Chicago’s is even worse, although few seem to be paying attention there. We take a look at the report and note that “San Diego is funding nearly all of its annual pension payments, while Chicago isn’t coming close.”

• Finally, the New Yorker takes a look at the new cable show Terriers, which is filmed and set in Ocean Beach. The story (which isn’t available for free online) doesn’t cast a positive light on the neighborhood, saying OB “appears not so much kissed by the sun as defeated by it.”

OB residents may take offense. But considering their propensities, many of them won’t remember this slight for long, nor much of anything else for that matter.

Correction: Due to an editing editor, this article originally referred incorrectly to a U-T report about San Diego’s former elected officials who began collecting pensions before the age of 50. The highest pension for a former councilmember is $46,734, and the highest amount, $96,887, is for a former city attorney.

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at randydotinga@gmail.comand follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga

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