Outgoing Police Chief William Lansdowne has offered a lot of public apologies and explanations for various police misconduct scandals, including some serious ones that have emerged in the last few weeks.

But perhaps his most powerful account happened behind the scenes, in a 2013 deposition unearthed by Liam Dillon.

In it, Lansdowne says that cops felt “abandoned” by the city after a rash of budget cuts that hit the department hard. Some cops, Lansdowne said, were struggling with demons like alcohol abuse, and needed resources. One officer who was facing DUI and hit-and-run charges killed himself.

New Parking Meters May Be Coming

You’ll remember Scott Lewis surfaced the city of San Diego’s failed attempt to replace its parking meters after a mysterious personnel matter. He also discovered that the city was trying to save the effort by piggybacking on a similar purchase by the city of Sacramento.

Well, that’s going forward. Interim Mayor Todd Gloria announced that a tentative deal was in place that the City Council would be considering in coming weeks.

RIP, City Emails

The city confirmed Friday that it plans to purge any emails older than a year – a huge blow to government transparency. Journalists and other citizens regularly get valuable information by requesting old emails.

Todd Gloria’s chief of staff wrote: “In developing an email retention policy, there was a need to balance availability of information with the fiscal costs related to its storage.”

The transparency group CalAware said it might sue over the policy and try to stop any destruction of emails. Councilman David Alvarez asked Gloria to reconsider and schedule a discussion.

Four Numbers That Explain the Climate Action Plan

Andy Keatts has a good breakdown of what’s in the big Climate Action Plan. He zeroes in on four figures that explain the ambitious scope of the plan.

Yes, the plan is likely to undergo some construction as Kevin Faulconer settles in to the mayor’s office. But Faulconer pushed environmental protection in his mayoral campaign, so the plan’s not likely to disappear altogether.

The Flipside of the South Bay Schools Merger

A Chula Vista mayoral candidate is leading a new push to unify the city’s elementary schools with its secondary schools. A merger could help improve communication for parents, Councilwoman Mary Salas has said, and prop up the troubled Sweetwater Union High School District.

But the current mayor, Cheryl Cox, voiced the other side of that coin in her State of the City address this week: A merger also has the potential to drag down Chula Vista’s high-performing elementary schools, she argued.

Should the Hillcrest Bike Lane Plan Shift Gears?

Chris Shaw, who owns several businesses in Hillcrest, says he’s pro-bikes and generally supports efforts to make the city more walkable and bikeable.

But he’s against SANDAG’s plan to install bike lanes along University Avenue.

“The University exit from Washington Street in Mission Hills would be closed to traffic on a proposed bike route that would force drivers to take Washington and then cut through residential streets to get to University. Meanwhile, Washington Street, with its steady four lanes, would remain largely untouched,” he writes in an op-ed.

What We Learned This Week

• San Diego police knew an awful lot about Anthony Arevalos’ predatory habits long before his arrest.

• Emails sent to deputy district attorneys trying to drum up support for their boss triggered complaints.

• We’re on a mission to understand SeaWorld’s role in San Diego and how it’s been impacted by “Blackfish,” starting with the film’s five biggest claims.

• Some big names think the Automotive Museum is a waste of space.

• The city has treated two victims of city employees very differently.

• Scott Barnett is often a lone wolf on the school board, and he loves to talk about it.

Quick News Hits

• San Diego Superior Court is unveiling a new “Once-Day Divorce” option: “The program is available to litigants who do not have attorneys and represent themselves in court. They must also have no contested issues surrounding their divorce,” reports NBC San Diego.

• Adam Muema, the SDSU running back who abruptly disappeared from the NFL Combine, resurfaced Friday – but still seems to be acting pretty weird. (U-T San Diego)

Quote of the Week

“There are exemptions for some new charters, but not others? Are you kidding me? That’s absolutely a slap in the face to those of us that helped you get the bond passed” – Nicole Wahab, executive director of Coleman Tech Charter High, on new rules for distributing Prop. Z funds.

Sara Libby

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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