People walk passed the Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr., Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s office in downtown on Oct. 3, 2022.
People walk passed the Ernest J. Dronenburg, Jr., Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s office in downtown on Oct. 3, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

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A criminal case involving a former top official in the County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s Office has been lurking throughout the campaign to replace longtime Assessor Ernie Dronenburg.

Candidate Barbara Bry has deemed a former chief information officer’s guilty plea to a conflict-of-interest charge for directing county contract work he oversaw to his wife’s company evidence that new leadership in the office is needed.

Chief Deputy Assessor Jordan Marks, who is also seeking to replace Dronenburg, argues the system worked to catch isolated bad behavior.

But despite former City Councilwoman Bry’s campaign promotions about the case, little has been known publicly about what actually happened.

Our Lisa Halverstadt dug into a May lawsuit filed by the county and other records that shed more light on the allegations against ex-official Rolf Bishop, when the county became aware of the alleged conflict and what happened after it was discovered.

Read the full story here.

A Deeper Dive into SDG&E Rate Hike

Illustration by Adriana Heldiz

Residents buying all their energy from San Diego Gas & Electric could see their bill rise by at least $34 come January 1. 

SDG&E publicly disclosed a preview of some of the utility’s proposed rate hikes during a Tuesday presentation to the San Diego City Council, but it didn’t give the whole picture. These public rate presentations were part of the city’s renewal of a 20-year franchise agreement with the investor-owned utility. 

Despite the sharp increases in rates, customers of the new public power company would be subject to about half that in new costs next year from SDG&E. That’s because those customers buy their energy from San Diego Community Power or Clean Energy Alliance, neither of which has released their rates for 2023 – so it’s hard to compare.

Public power companies have pledged to keep their rates lower and their energy cleaner than SDG&E. So far, those companies say it’s been harder to keep that promise accusing SDG&E of artificially lowering its rates earlier this year to make public power appear more expensive. 

Read more here. 

In Other News

  • The city of San Diego has for years been looking at way more fixes needed to its stormwater system than it can afford to make. After failed attempts to address that with city or regional tax measures for city infrastructure, the city is now trying to collect more money to fix those problems by charging more for parking tickets when people don’t move their car for scheduled street sweeping. (Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego County anticipates receiving some $100 million from lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, so now its Board of Supervisors is laying out how it might spend that money (substance abuse counselors and housing, targeted to the unincorporated areas). (Union-Tribune)
  • Gas prices in San Diego were rising for a long time and then they fell for a long time after which they rose again for a while and now we’re looking at a period in which they are again falling. (Times of San Diego)

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, MacKenzie Elmer and Andrew Keatts. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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1 Comment

  1. “Residents buying all their energy from San Diego Gas & Electric *could* see their bill rise by *at least* $34 come January 1.”
    2 conditionals in 1 sentence is *at least* 1 too many. mainstream media, especially broadcast, does this all the time, but VoSD readers are more savvy. i think.

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