Journalists don’t always listen well, but we do listen often. And occasionally, someone says something interesting, as Voice of San Diego scribes have learned over the past decade.

Recall the mayor who helpfully clarified his “fuck you” remark to a rival, the school district superintendent who declared he couldn’t possibly survive on just $25 a day for food and the lady who explained why she wasn’t a frisky president’s type: “no money, no influence and especially no boobs.”

Here are a few of our favorite quotes we’ve collected since Voice of San Diego launched 10 years ago.

On Today’s Menu: Foot

“I’ve got hundreds – hundreds! – of excess employees. Hundreds of excess employees … Every damn where.” — Stan “Data” Dobbs, then San Diego Unified’s chief financial officer, in 2013. It didn’t take long for the district to reduce its number of excessively talkative employees by one.

“Have you ever tried to eat on $25 [a day]? I promise you it is very difficult to do.” — San Diego schools Superintendent Terry Grier, on the difficulty of getting by on a $25-per-day stipend for meals, after VOSD revealed he charged the district for dinners of striped bass, gourmet beef and venison worth more than $57 each. The source of funding for the meals: a grant to support poor kids. By the way, according to our readers, it is possible to eat on $25 a day. Who knew?

“Maybe at home on the phone he can help me, but boots on the ground? Well, he’s in a wheelchair.” — Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood, during his 2014 run for county supervisor, on one reason he parted ways with his former campaign manager. Voters told Wood to take a walk.

Listen, You Little Piece of …

Get a life.” — then-U-T CEO John Lynch’s response to this journalist in 2012 when asked why the newspaper hadn’t gotten the proper permits for a car museum it built in its Mission Valley office building.

“That’s slander. I will sue you. You cannot go around slandering. There’s somebody out there. I will sue you and your newspaper. I guarantee that.” — Field supervisor Larry Hall when we told him that we saw no one monitoring a sand-dredging pipe on Mission Beach in 2010. The dredging project had dumped wire, rebar and other potentially dangerous debris on the beach.

What a Character!

I wasn’t his type — no money, no influence and especially no boobs.” — local resident Ruth Hayward in 2010, discussing why she didn’t wander over to the presidential plane that was parked not far from her office during John F. Kennedy’s 1963 visit to San Diego. Hayward saw workers load a mattress and cases of Scotch onto the plane.

“I’m not an angry guy, you know. It’s just what I like to do. Some people are into math, some people are into science. I suck at both, so I’d rather just get punched in the face.” — Larry Jackson, a mixed-martial arts trainer and fighter, in a 2007 VOSD profile.

 “It says they got the coldest beer in the mountains. But they don’t. Coldest beer’s down the junction.” — Lamont Kennedy, neighbor to the Guatay Country Store in the boonies of East County, helpfully explaining in 2010 why its “coldest beer in the mountains” sign is riddled with bullet holes.

Un-Sanitized for Your Non-Protection

“You’re calling me to ask me if I said, ‘Fuck you, Francis. I did not say that. I said, ‘Fuck you, Steve.’” — Mayor Jerry Sanders in 2008, clarifying his remarks to rival candidate Steve Francis during a mayoral debate.

“If you have shitty candidates you are going to have a shitty effort. Who did the Dems put up this year? Floyd fucking Morrow.” — John Kern, a Republican consultant and chief of staff for former Mayor Dick Murphy, on Democrats’ poor showing in the June 2008 election.

“I’ve grown to believe she’s two people. A warm and friendly person and the mayor’s son of a bitch. And every mayor needs one.” — Bob Nelson, former chairman of the city’s Convention Center Corp., in 2010 on Kris Michell, then the mayor’s chief of staff. Michell’s now president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

“I’ve got a lot of fucking money in the bank. It allows me to sleep at night. It allows me to do my job with a whole lot of integrity and not worry about losing it.” — San Diego City Comptroller Ken Whitfield in 2013 explains how he had the guts to challenge credit-card expenses by Mayor Bob Filner.

“The state will not have enough balls to take over this district. You tell them I said it!” — San Diego Unified board member Shelia Jackson in 2011, saying the district should ignore additional budget cuts from the state. It’s not clear if anyone told the state that she said it.

“A source just told me: ‘I have it on really good authority that (a name deleted city official) has gone f*ing insane.’” — our City Hall reporter Liam Dillon, via Twitter, in 2010.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at and follow him on Twitter:

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