A few years ago, the leader of the largest union that represent San Diego city employees reminded city leaders that his group had supported using the County of San Diego’s guide as a way to manage the process of letting outside companies bid on taking over city services.

The city acknowledged that was true but nevertheless went through an arduous negotiation process with unions. And the result was a complex and slow process that nobody seems pleased with.

Now, several years later, Mayor Kevin Faulconer wants to, you guessed it, adopt the county’s guide.

The County’s Spending Plan

Speaking of the county, it will soon adopt next year’s budget. Ari Bloomekatz explains where it gets its money and how it plans on spending it.

Ethics and Promise of Drones

Lisa Halverstadt has wrapped up her quest to understand San Diego’s drone industry, its promise and its challenges. Here’s a compilation of what she learned.

What We Learned This Week (a Lot)

• The mayor said the city has had issues responding to emergencies in the South Bay. The truth is more narrow than that — in fact, it’s a single address that causes most problems.

• The economy is supposedly recovering but development downtown seems to be at recession-level lows.

• Amid controversy, the County of San Diego, years ago, cut in half a $10 million program that allowed the supervisors to each hand out $2 million in grants to local nonprofits. Now they’re quietly trying to restore it.

• The City Council raised fees on developers in the mid-city area by 500 percent.

• A major ruling this week could upend long-held employment protections that make it extremely difficult for school districts to fire teachers and force the districts to lay off the least experienced teachers if they’re making budgetary cuts. Here’s a collection of what I thought were the most blistering findings the judge made.

• The Republican who gets to run against Gov. Jerry Brown this year is a big big fan of San Diego’s mayor.

• The mayor’s budget had one lone dissenter on the City Council: David Alvarez. He said he couldn’t support the spending plan and complained about how much of it went to capital projects in his neighborhoods. But his argument lacked important context, Liam Dillon noted.

• The recent Bernardo Fire was caused by a construction crew. Ari Bloomkatz looked into how it happened and what rules contractors like that must follow or just should follow.

• In San Diego County, 11 pedestrians or bicyclists have been hit and killed this year by drivers who fled the scene – already higher than the average for the five previous years, the data show. And it’s only June.

Quick News Hits

• San Diego won’t be getting the 2024 Olympics but two other California cities are still in the hunt. (NBC)

• District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has refused requests from the media to release the letter she wrote in support of the son of Susumo Azano, the Mexican citizen who is accused of illegally supporting her campaign and others. She claims, among other things, that it’s not a public record.  (CityBeat)

• The U-T reports that shareholders of Novatel, the wireless company, have forced out their CEO.

• KPBS reports that San Diego anglers are catching some unusual fish because of climate changes.

Quotes of the Week

“There is no question that teachers should be afforded reasonable due process when their dismissals are sought. However, based on the evidence before this Court, it finds the current system required by the Dismissal Statutes to be so complex, time consuming and expensive as to make an effective, efficient yet fair dismissal of a grossly ineffective teacher illusory.”

Judge Rolf Treu, Los Angeles Superior Court, on a major lawsuit challenging teacher tenure laws.

“The expectation that a trial judge was going to determine public policy is absurd – and I don’t think this decision ultimately will affect policy.”

Richard Barrera, trustee, San Diego city schools and secretary-treasurer, San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, on Treu’s conclusions.

Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently...

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