Among the four major candidates for mayor, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis wants to do the most, by far, about education.

She plans to write a 2014 ballot measure that would allow the mayor to add four trustees to the school board, which now has five members who are directly elected by the public.

Dumanis also calls for a new city department that will oversee relations between the mayor’s office and the school district. She says schools will get better by 2016.

But, as our City Hall reporter Liam Dillon points out, Dumanis hasn’t always seemed on top of education details.

Things have certainly changed since 2008, when mayoral candidate Steve Francis’ plan to remake education prompted a mocking headline on our site: “What Job Is This Guy Running For?” Now, a candidate without an education plan seems almost out of touch.

This is the last in our series of stories about how the mayoral rivals want to fix education. Check our previous looks at the education plans of Councilman Carl DeMaio, Rep. Bob Filner and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher

Getting a Charge Out of Public Records

Mayor Jerry Sanders wants to add new charges for members of the public who want to see public records like PDFs and computer data. Now, the records are often provided free.

Under the new proposal, each page in a PDF — a document only readable with the help of a computer unless it’s printed out — would cost 25 cents. That’s the current cost for printed pages.

There would also be a new fee for electronic copies of computer data.

A mayoral spokesman said the proposal standardizes fees that are sometimes charged today. The city clerk has raised objections, however, and all of the mayoral candidates told us they oppose the new fees (Filner confirmed this later in the day). Our story includes their written statements.

Auditor Rebuts Pension Measure’s Savings

In a report, the city said Prop. B, the pension reform initiative, would save $950 million over 30 years. But the city’s auditor now says the estimate is exaggerated.

The problem, he says, is that the estimate includes savings from a salary freeze that isn’t guaranteed.  

On TV: The Race for District 9

San Diego Explained, our video series in conjunction with NBC 7 San Diego, examines the race in District 9, which has nothing to do with the movie as far as I know. (If you do see an alien, drop me a line immediately.)

Our District 9 encompasses an unusually diverse bunch of neighborhoods — City Heights, Kensington/Talmadge, the College Area around San Diego State, Mount Hope, Southcrest and Mountain View. The two candidates are Latino activist Mateo Camarillo and Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who currently represents District 7.

Big issues, which vary heavily by neighborhood, include urban renewal, public transit and the installation of underground power lines. For more, check our story that includes a definition of this nifty term: “devil’s strip.” No, it has nothing to do with a demonic g-string.

To learn about other council races, check our San Diego Explained videos on District 1 and District 7.

Letters: Fletcher, Test Scores and Poor Folks in the Middle

In letters, Bob Stein of University City isn’t enamored by the mayoral candidate who sets some hearts aflutter: “I don’t find Fletcher fetching. He strikes me as too unsure of who he is or what he stands for other than his own ambition, glibness and good looks. I’m concerned he is shallow and phony.”

Also, Allen Hemphill of Escondido finds school test scores put California in the bottom, and Daniel Smiechowski of Bay Ho is suspicious of the local business big shots behind a campaign to support a middle ground in politics.

“Where is the disparate income distribution of this so-called movement to the middle? It all seems so tragic and contrived,” Smiechowski writes.  

Quick News Hits

• The Morning Report yesterday incorrectly described the price of a Mission Beach property that the San Diego school district is considering whether to sell. It might be sold for $4.7 million less than the appraised $12.5 million, not $4.7 million. We regret the error.

• A mailer from the GOP in support of DeMaio for mayor miscalculated the amount of pension benefits that he decided to give up, the U-T reports.

Instead of giving up $800,000 as the mailer and DeMaio claim, the U-T finds the value is about $428,000.

DeMaio’s campaign has acknowledged the error and will use the correct number.

• Gov. Jerry Brown wants to cut pay and workload for state workers by 5 percent, but he’s not calling it a furlough, The Sacramento Bee reports. Instead there’s talk instead of “a four-day workweek.”

The Bee notes a tweet from our own Liam Dillon: “they should push for ‘3-day weekend.’ Everyone loves those.”

• UC San Diego has a new chancellor. (U-T)

• Earlier this week, I linked to a story about an unfortunate — or fortunate, depending on your point of view — incident involving a clone of our waterfront’s controversial Unconditional Surrender statue.

A lady driving her Mercedes in Sarasota, Fla., whacked into that city’s statue of the famous V-J Day kiss. The statue was damaged and ended up being placed horizontal on the ground so it wouldn’t fall over and hurt someone. Now it’s being fixed.

Local art types, many of whom can’t stand our own hulking statue, merrily clucked over the story at the Facebook page of KPBS arts reporter Angela Carone. My favorite comment is courtesy of Jessica Hanson York: “We need to find San Diego’s worst drivers, immediately.”

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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