Mateo Camarillo pushed to create a second City Council district with a majority of Latino voters, and he succeeded. But no other Latinos stepped up to run in the new District 9. Now he’s the only candidate running against a sitting member of the Council, Marti Emerald.

As we continue our look at City Council races, we’ve talked to Camarillo and created a Reader’s Guide to help you understand his perspective. “As a businessman I don’t think the city is being run very efficiently,” says Camarillo, who wants to focus on efficiency, listening to people and supporting diversity.

“When you value that, you know what happens? People get more efficient. You get respect. People have ownership of their job because they’re respected,” he says.

He also lists his priorities for the neighborhoods in his district — City Heights, Kensington/Talmadge, the College Area and part of southeastern San Diego. Bike lanes and palm trees are among his areas of interest.

So which topics does he want to avoid? Here’s one: specific fixes for the city’s problems. We challenged him on whether greater respect for diversity will pay the bills.

Emerald was similarly unable to find much of an answer for that in the reader’s guide we put together for her.

Convention Center CEO Tries to Clarify Future

Carol Wallace, who’s run the Convention Center for two decades, says she isn’t actually resigning, despite her letter (which we reported earlier) suggesting that she’s on her way out.  

“We originally interpreted Wallace’s letter as a resignation,” our new story says. “But in the letter she asks the board to review terminating her contract due to recent board decisions.”

Wallace is a member of a small group: high-level and high-profile African-American woman leaders in the local business/political world.  

Fact Check: The Gigantic County and Its Gigantic Budget

On Mike Slater’s radio show, in the mornings on AM 760, County supervisor candidate Steve Danon said San Diego County has more people than 20 states and a larger county budget than 22 state budgets.

San Diego Fact Check runs the numbers and finds he’s right on the first claim (in your face, Delaware!) but wrong on the second.

The size of the county’s budget relative to states’ has provoked a number of fact checks. Remember sitting Supervisor Ron Roberts’ claim that the state should model its operations on the county, which he said has fewer employees than it did in 1995. That’s true, but even with fewer workers, the county’s budget has gone up by more than 50 percent in that same period. 

Spokesman: VOSD Trying to ‘Bully’ City Attorney

In letters, Jonathan Heller, a spokesman for the city attorney, harpoons over our battle to get details about the big vote by hotel owners over raising guest taxes to pay for a convention center expansion.

VOSD “tried calling (City Attorney Jan Goldsmith) a name — a barnyard animal. They posted incomplete information and distorted headlines. They ‘called him out’ on Twitter. And, they got nowhere, swinging wildly in the air,” Heller writes. “Some fight.”

He adds: “Following the law is sometimes inconvenient, but always necessary.”

Our City Hall reporter Liam Dillon is not impressed. He tweeted: “I’d like to see less time spent writing commentaries & more time spent deciding on our compromise,” which has been on the table for days now.

Meanwhile, who gets what power to decide whether hotel-room taxes go up is still secret. The hotel owners are voting by mail right now.

• Also in letters, Seema Sueko, executive artistic director of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, says she wants to hear clarification from Councilman Carl DeMaio about his concerns regarding how the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture allocates money.

DeMaio recently backed away from a commitment to cut funding the arts organizations receive from the city. But he said how the city gives it out needs an overhaul.

The cut is no longer needed, he said, because of how much better off the city is than it was two years ago. But today, he’s releasing a report that says the city needs to find $304 million to restore services to 2003 levels.

Not-So-Mad Hattery, Drag Queens and Cooties

The Arts Report — the Morning Report’s annoying younger sister — is out with its weekly look at all things artistic, cultural and chapeau-related.

Wait, what? Yes, one of the items links to a U-T story about the costume designer who had $700 to created about 60 pieces for Moxie Theatre’s current play, “A Man, A Wife, and His Hat.”

The hat, of course, is important. But the designer kept it simple, she told the U-T: “Anybody can do crazy,” she said. (You’re so right, sister!) “And then you can do crazier. It’s really harder to make it simple than (to make it) more complicated.”

The Arts Report also tells you about floral designing, art exhibits, meditation for veterans, Ravi Shankar (yes, he’s still around) and what cooties have to do with a play called “Deconstruction of a Drag Queen.”  

• Local drag queens are in the news this week, and not just because San Diego performer Chad Michaels is a top-three finalist on the RuPaul’s Drag Race reality show.

As the LA Times reports, a drag show at the University of San Diego, a Catholic institution, has drawn a protest from alumni and prominent attorney Charles LiMandri, who says the event is “sexually perverse.” The university president, however, defends the show, saying its goal is to “foster students’ understanding of, and empathy for, the complexities of gender non-conformity.”

The bigger question: What (or who) will everyone be wearing?

Quick News Hits: Water Rates Rise, Padres on the Block

• Southern California’s big water agency socked local agencies with two five-percent price hikes for wholesale water over the next two years, the U-T reports.

San Diego water officials have been in a bitter battle with Metropolitan Water District, the regional agency, over water prices. Check our story from last month for details.

• The Padres are for sale, the U-T reports. The team may be worth more after the Dodgers sold for $2.1 billion in Los Angeles.

Fasten Your Snark Belt

Turns out I’m not the only one who thinks potholes have been popping up lately like blisters after a walkathon.

“You’re right on the potholes, they are getting worse,” writes reader Craig A. Nelson. “No idea where the politicians spend all that gas tax, etc. Perhaps if we throw a few out of office they will get it. Every time I hit a pothole, now daily, I curse just like I did before, but I add the name of the politician whose jurisdiction I am in to the end of it.”

Nice idea, but this could create technical difficulties if a pothole is on the border line between City Council districts. “Darn that Emera… Maio!” “To the moon, Glori…Zapf!”

I could go on. (Ed.: No thanks.)

Please contact Randy Dotinga directly at and follow him on Twitter:

Randy Dotinga

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

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