Oceanside City Hall / Photo by Megan Wood

Oceanside City Treasurer Victor Roy was recently accused of a slew of things by Treasury Manager Steve Hodges, including costing the taxpayers millions of dollars on risky investments. The city has said they will not be investigating this specific allegation as Roy doesn’t have the unilateral ability to make investments.

Voice of San Diego investigated where exactly this claim stems from. It turns out, there’s some truth to it and callable securities are to blame, though Oceanside was not alone. 

When Hodges joined the treasury staff in 2019, the city had a significant amount of its money in “callable” investments, which are legal investments that could be abruptly terminated or “called” before the city sees all the interest earnings initially anticipated on the loans.

Hodges’ complaint refers to the city’s lost earnings when it had to reinvest some $200 million at lower rates. The city’s bottom line took a hit.

Click here to read the full story. 

Environment Report: Why Your Energy Bill is High (Again) And that New CCA Charge, Explained

There’s a fairly simple explanation as to why energy bills suddenly seem higher the past few months: It’s summertime. Not only do utilities charge more per unit of energy (measured in kilowatt hours), customers are typically using more of it, too. Sweltering summer monsoons and high humidity mean air conditioners are running full blast.

As those bills tick up, customers look closer at them to try and figure out where the cost is coming from. Like David Kline, whose power provider switched in June from SDG&E to San Diego Community Power, a publicly-owned utility just getting off the ground.

He noticed a new couple-hundred dollar charge for “CCA Electric Generation” and wondered – was that the culprit? 

Voice of San Diego’s MacKenzie Elmer explains what a CCA is in the latest Environment Report, and analyzed Kline’s bills as he simultaneously switched from winter to summer energy prices and SDG&E to San Diego Community Power.

Kline was paying a slightly cheaper electric rate under the CCA compared to the few days he paid SDG&E during summertime energy prices in June. But SDG&E recently dropped its prices in a controversial move recently challenged by San Diego’s CCAs.

Read more here. 

Court Tells Chula Vista to Fix Its Own Mess

A California appellate court has declined to give Chula Vista a new hearing after ruling last month that the city unfairly rejected a cannabis company seeking a license. The judges were unaware at the time that Chula Vista had no more licenses to give out, because the city hadn’t mentioned it. But knowing that now didn’t make a difference.

In a new filing, the judges said they would not reexamine the arguments and consider newly submitted evidence, calling the city’s request “an abuse of the resources of this court.” They also clarified that their ruling in July did not order the city to invalidate any of the licenses it already awarded.

Legal translation: not my problem, go figure it out.

Earlier this month, Voice contributor Jackie Bryant wrote about the city’s scramble to fix its cannabis licensing system, which has been plagued by complaints and lawsuits. 

Get Your Ballot Booster Shot

Politifest, our annual summit dedicated to the most relevant debates and discussions for local voters and residents, is back in person for the first time since 2019.

We’ve got a great lineup of debates and panels at the University of San Diego, including an important discussion on homelessness with Mayor Todd Gloria and Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher and a highly anticipated statewide ballot initiative primer with our friends at CalMatters.

But that’s not all: Chula Vista and National City voters also face big decisions about who should lead their cities. We’re doing a special event to host voters for those races closer to home. It’s a two-part live podcast featuring National City mayoral candidates Alejandra Sotelo Solis and Jose Rodriguez, followed by Chula Vista mayoral candidates Ammar Campa-Najjar and John McCann.

Tickets are limited so make sure you sign up today. If you’re a member, check your email for access to discounted tickets. Students also get free admission to our event at USD.

See the lineup and register here.

In Other News 

The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne, MacKenzie Elmer, Jesse Marx and Megan Wood. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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