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Last summer, the City Council’s public safety committee endorsed a five-year plan to hire nearly 160 officers and reinvest in a Police Department. They promised to move it forward quickly.
Yet it’s not moving forward. The plan is languishing in the mayor’s office, Lisa Halverstadt reports. Council members she talked to say they don’t know why it hasn’t come to the City Council for full approval.
• Halverstadt took stock this week of all the standoffs Mayor Bob Filner’s been in.
Filner on Veterans
The mayor had promised during his campaign to elevate veterans issues and establish a new department for them at the city. He’s working on it, Halverstadt finds, in another one of her report cards on his promises.
Analysis of U-T Political Ads Sparks Controversy
The biggest story Friday in local politics was KPBS and inewsource’s review of campaign advertisements in U-T San Diego, which the station says raises questions about whether it gave discounted ad rates to its preferred candidates and causes.
As you might remember, the U-T ran several front page editorials for its preferred mayoral candidate, Carl DeMaio. And it could have run several more. But KPBS reported that ads have to be the same price for all candidates in federal elections and discounted ads in local elections need to be disclosed as a donation to the candidate.
Amita Sharma, who co-wrote the piece, explained the story well on KPBS’ Midday Edition. KPBS reported that the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission was considering an investigation.
One bit of irony: Several local journalists remembered that one of DeMaio’s top consultants, Jason Roe, had said on a recent Society of Professional Journalists panel that campaigns that purchased ads in print newspapers might as well burn their money.
What We Learned This Week
Central Elementary’s Test Scores Weren’t Extraordinary: The incoming superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District got a dramatic promotion from her spot as a principal based on a remarkable turnaround she orchestrated at Central Elementary.
The school may, indeed, be an exciting success story, but that’s not based on its test scores, which are mediocre. Marten herself touted test scores in a press release on her accomplishments. We had to fact check that. Test scores are often dismissed as irrelevant — unless they’re good.
• In related news, Marten says she’s a soldier in a battle.
“I saw the war against public education begin, and I wanted to be a part of that army that was going to save it,” Marten said, describing her decision in 2000 to take a teaching job at Central Elementary. She was speaking at the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club.
Donna Frye’s Out at the Mayor’s Office: We were hopeful, as advocates for transparency and information, that the mayor’s new director of open government, Donna Frye, would help make data accessible and do a whole bunch of other things. We talked to Frye about her plans here.
But she quit this week to focus, she said, on her role as the volunteer president of Californians Aware, a open government and First Amendment group that has always been supportive of journalists like us.
She told KPBS she did not leave because of the controversy over a change to city law that would be required to allow her to go back to work at the city while collecting a pension. The mayor’s office said her deputy, Steve Hadley, was still at work and the mayor was figuring out what to do.
Top Comments of the Week
In Dagny Salas’ weekly roundup of the top comments of the week, Voice of San Diego member Andy Kopp suggests a way we could measure Central Elementary’s performance.
Sign Up to See ‘Inocente’
On April 11, Voice of San Diego members are invited to our special screening of the Oscar-winning film, “Inocente.” We have 16 tickets left, eight pairs. This is a free, special event for VOSD members who recruit and bring potential members as guests. Contact email@example.com for details. Not a member? Join today.
If you haven’t donated yet, and you value our daily reports, please consider it. We’ve so far recruited 26 new members in just five days since the start of the campaign, but we have a long way to go to 200, which triggers a $10,000 donation we really need to get.
Thanks for your support.
• Kevin Swanson’s not impressed with Balboa Park 2015 celebration preparations.
Top Comments of the Week
From the Twitter (Part 1): Olympics
Vince Mudd, a local businessman and high-ranking member of the San Diego 20, was bullish Friday on San Diego’s push with Tijuana for the, yep, Olympic Games. He says a team of 32 people is working on it.
“If successful, these 32 will swell to 200,000 volunteers stretching from from SD & Baja to Imperial & S Orange. Let’s go!” Mudd tweeted. The mayor has begun including this push as one of his major goals in official materials now too.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. and Workforce Partnership released a study that showed that Qualcomm’s economic impact on San Diego was one-and-a-half times that of the Olympics’ impact on London last year.
From the Twitter (Part 2): Krvaric Conformity Enforcement
Labor leader Lorena Gonzalez has been collecting endorsements left and right and recently touted one from Republican County Supervisor Greg Cox.
Republican Party Chairman Tony Krvaric apparently doesn’t want the meme taking hold that she’s getting any actual Republican endorsements. He tweeted this: “In case there is any confusion, @rpsdc members do not endorse Democrats. @lorenasgonzalez is confused. Again.” The “rpsdc” is the Republican Party of San Diego County. Gonzalez responded with a succinct “huh?”
Quote of the Week
“We saw pictures of him on Google and couldn’t believe what a crazy smile he has.” — Albert Nerenberg the organizer of the National Laughing Championships, which are being held in San Diego. He was talking about Mayor Filner.
I’m Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you’d like at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it’s a blast!):
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