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Blog Archives - 2006
Barton gets his answer -
by Pat Flannery
Judge Barton now has an
answer to his June 23, 2006
The California Appeals Court
ruled in the Carson City
case that when any public official violates Government
Code 1090 he/she spoils the whole pudding. The entire
contract is void, no matter who suffers, even the
innocent. Is that clear enough for you Judge Barton?
The appeals judge actually applied the law. Code 1090
means exactly what it says. If Judge Barton ignores Code
1090 he will be overthrown on appeal. And Code 1090 is
not even the centerpiece of Mike Aguirre's legal
Here is what I wrote
on August 27, 2005, then
read what I wrote
on July 6, 2005, explaining how both the City
Charter and State law prohibit granting "past service
liabilities" (retroactive benefits): "You can’t
increase the “multiplier” from 2.5% to 3% in the 25th
year of a 30-year service and backdate it for 25 of
those years. They created what is known as a
"past service liability", which is illegal".
All that apart altogether from the 1090
violations! So much for "hurdles that will be
difficult to overcome" in
yesterday. Whose side are they on?
The law is the law no matter how much Ann Smith and
Judie Italiano stomp their feet. And: Mayor
Sanders is one of "the innocents". Tough Jerry.
Granting retroactive "benefits" is wrong. Period. -
by Pat Flannery
Evan McLaughlin in
adopts Ann Smith's argument (he carefully referred to "attorneys
in the case") and says that Aguirre's "debt-limit"
argument presents "a hurdle that will be difficult to
overcome". Essentially Ann Smith's argument is
"everybody does it" and The Voice seem to have
totally bought into it.
The Voice are pushing this notion that
Aguirre's case against SDCERS will fail because it
should have been brought by an individual taxpayer.
McLaughlin even managed to squeeze a quote out of Pat
Shea to support the idea: "It probably would have
been better if it were brought on behalf of a nominal
last figures published are for June 2003. God knows what
it is now. As you can see "Underfunding" is only 10% of
the problem. "Benefit Enhancements" and "Net Actuarial
Losses" (a paper scam which "assumes" a rate of return
of 8% on their investments, any shortfall being charged
to us the taxpayer - with interest!) are what threatens
this city with bankruptcy. And the unions call us
"cheap" for not agreeing to a tax increase? On top of
all that most of the "Benefit Enhancements"
Underfunding by the City
Use of Plan Earnings
Net Actuarial Losses
(Source: SDCERS actuary)
It does not matter how
the 1996 and 2002 decisions were taken, at City Council
or at SDCERS, they were simply illegal.
Not Ann Smith, not Judge Barton, not all the
lawyers in Rancho Santa Fe, can disguise this basic,
simple fact. And if Judge Barton rules otherwise, he
will be overthrown by a jury or on appeal.
how good is this Ms. Windsor? -
by Pat Flannery
How much heat is Jim
Madaffer willing to take over Colleen Windsor?
Apparently Comical Jim told
Andrew Donohue of
 $176,000 overage
was covered by transfers of $120,000 and $26,000 from
the district's infrastructure fund and PC replacement
fund, respectively. An additional $30,000 had to come
from additional revenue the city received above budget
forecasts at the end of the year" and that for 2007
"he will use a work furlough program and "salary
savings" to cover the additional unbudgeted expense in
Donohue has calculated that
that would "require the eight employees in his office
to each take an average of $15,813 worth of unpaid leave
Wow! Just how good is this Ms. Windsor? Or how
much does she know?
Retroactivity - the key illegal act -
by Pat Flannery
Hopefully Judge Barton will
get clear answers to his muddled questions today. One
fundamental fact should not get lost in the legal
added $500 million to the San Diego pension deficit. Now
if that's not illegal, nothing is.
Barton, nor any other judge, can rule that the granting
of retroactive employment benefits is legal "labor
negotiations". Yet that is exactly what the City and its
unions agreed to: retroactive benefits in return for
pension underfunding. Not even the all-powerful city
unions could "negotiate" what is simply
I hope Mike is making that clear today. To me, the
granting of retroactive benefits has always been the key
illegal act. No City Council can change previous years'
And as for Judge Barton's scruples
about some retirees "suffering", he needs to read
law e.g. "whoever
deals with a municipality is bound to know the extent of
The city unions' case is a bit like buying the Brooklyn
Bridge and going to court to enforce the contract. Good
luck with that one Ann Smith.
Madaffer is now San Diego's "Comical Ali" -
by Pat Flannery
San Diego has its own
"Comical Ali" - Jim Madaffer.
He was Saddam Hussein's "Information Minister".
Here are some of Ali's
more "comical" quotes:
"They are not in Baghdad. They are not in
control of any airport. I tell you this. It
is all a lie. They lie. It is a Hollywood movie.
You do not believe them." And: "Their infidels
are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of
Baghdad. Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected."
Now read "Comical
in today's U-T where he asserts
his absolute right as the elected representative for
District 7 to decide "how best to allocate resources
for the greatest good of the community". Like
"Comical Ali" telling us that our Marines are committing
mass suicide before the walls of Baghdad, our own
"Comical Jim" wants us to believe that hiring Colleen
Windsor is "essential for the greatest good of the
community". He even outdoes Ali by asserting that by
hiring Windsor "I am making a long-term investment
that will benefit future generations".
really as simple-minded as Madaffer thinks we are?
Sometimes I wonder.
The truth of the matter is that Madaffer is covering
for his old friend Dick Murphy. Ms. Windsor knows too
much about both of them. Her price for silence is a good
job with the city. If Madaffer is forced to fire her the
local tabloids will have a field day.
Peters is a disgrace to public office -
by Pat Flannery
If you doubt that
Scott Peters is the puppet of the city unions consider
his declaration to Judge Barton in the City vs. SDCERS
case. He has sworn to the court that Mike Aguirre lacks
City Council authority to represent the City in this
case when the contrary was clearly established
at a public session of City Council on Tuesday August 9,
2005. On that date
nobody on the
Council, including Peters who was present, challenged
Assistant City Attorney Les Girard's important
This is what appears in the
minutes: "CITY ATTORNEY COMMENT:
Assistant City Attorney Les Girard announced that last
week in Closed Session by a unanimous vote with
Districts 2 and 8 and the Mayor vacant, the City Council
authorized the City Attorney to pursue a modified cross
complaint in the action SDCERS versus City of San Diego
and City Attorney Michael Aguirre. In addition, the
Council by the same unanimous vote with Districts 2 and
8 and the Mayor vacant, authorized the filing of two
cases against potential plaintiffs with regard to
recovering of monies for professional services related
to the pension issues."
The archived video link to this crucial
Aug 09, 2005
announcement has mysteriously vanished!
The video of the meetings immediately prior to and
immediately after that date are still there, as are all
meetings going back to May 2004. This is tampering with
public records. The city unions have a long reach!
Peters had his chance
to challenge the City Attorney's announcement - on the
day it was made. Now, under orders from his union
bosses, he is trying to back peddle by effectively
City Attorney Les Girard
Whatever the outcome of this important case, Peters
is not fit to serve as any city's Council President. He
is a disgrace to public office and the legal profession.
He is nothing more than a hired gun for the city unions.
And whoever has tampered with the video archives, is no
better. It is time we took our city back from these
Place by the sea? - San Diego -
by Pat Flannery
This Madaffer/Windsor story just will
not go away.
Today the U-T actually did an
on it. But they completely missed the point! The point
is not who should be paying her salary, but what is
Madaffer doing hiring her in the first place?
of how this Colleen Windsor, an ex TV news reporter,
edged out Elena Christiano, an ex TV news writer, to
became Mayor Murphy's press secretary, is a must-read
even though it appeared in the Reader back on June 27,
Potter asked himself: "How did the
36-year-old Cristiano, who had never before worked for
an elected official -- let alone in the high-profile
position of press secretary to mayor of America's
sixth-largest city -- get her job at city hall?"
That's why he phoned and interviewed her (after she was
eased out of course).
Christiano made a veiled
reference to her "personal" relationship with John Kern
and with Charles Steinberg of the Padres (she and
Steinberg even owned a condo together while she worked
for Murphy!). Is this a glimpse into
After you have labored
through Matt's lengthy account of Christiano's
(self-described) sordid life with a series of powerful
and abusive men, you have to wonder what in the world
was she doing in Mayor Murphy's office? Working under
She told Matt how she went from "waitressing
at Seau's, barely surviving on welfare ... to a job with
the "Pad Squad," cheerleaders for the San Diego Padres,
where she met Padres executive Charles Steinberg, whom
she now calls "my mentor and dear, dear friend."
She goes on to tell how while with the "Pad Squad" she
was also a news writer for Channel 39, the local NBC
affiliate, and how she became officially involved with
The Padres: "Then I went to writing for them [Padres]
and producing ballpark-related promotional things
........ my position with the Padres allowed me to have
good working knowledge of the ballpark situation, so
that was helpful." Matt thought: "Whether by
coincidence or not, the end of Cristiano's tenure at
city hall came just as the Padres and the city were able
to reach a final legal agreement to sell the bonds
needed to build the new ballpark".
Christiano Moore's Mata Hari in the Mayor's Office?
Dumped when no longer useful? Is Windsor another Mata
Hari? If so, for whom? "Redevelopment" is a dark and
murky world on which Windsor seems to have become an
expert while working for Murphy. Time to do another
story Matt? Well maybe not yet, you'll probably have to
wait until she too gets dumped before she spills her
guts to you over the telephone.
is in the news (a dangerous place to be Colleen) and
showing signs of being every bit as fascinating in her
relationship with powerful men as was her predecessor,
Elena Christiano. Remember: if they'll do it with you,
they'll do it to you.
Daniel Strumpf at City
Beat got into the
story pretty heavily at the time Madaffer hired her last
year and even got into a little spat with
KUSI's Doug Curlee who sided with Windsor and
Madaffer, as Dan describes in this
On a personal note, I watched (in fascination, for
two years) how this same Colleen Windsor managed a phony
Sister City project with a development company in
Ireland, not with a city, not with an elected body of
any kind, for her boss Dick Murphy. And she did it right
out of the Mayor's Office, even using that high office
as the official address of the 501(c)3 company
incorporating this so-called sister city organization!
That shady little project came unstuck and still
reflects badly on Murphy's reputation. Its exposure may
even have played a part in his resignation. Windsor's
management of it may bode ill for whatever project she
is now managing for her new boss, Madaffer.
tuned, film at eleven.
real watchdog -
by Pat Flannery
If you do nothing else today
listen to Mel Shapiro (my hero) deliver his 5 minutes
public comment before the City Council yesterday. Go to
6 hrs 20 mins
in. Mel is a
real watchdog. Like Shipione, he asks the right
questions. U-T take note.
for the 2007 Budget was an illegal act -
by Pat Flannery
Diann Shipione's June 5, 2006
to the Audit Committee's inquiry ends with: "Questions
for the Audit Committee".
It occurs to me that these questions are exactly
the right questions to ask the City Council. Diann has
informed them that (in her opinion) the final adoption
of the 2007 budget (paying only $162 million into the
pension fund) amounted to an illegal borrowing from the
SDCERS Pension Trust.
Back in 2002 Donna Frye
wisely listened to Ms. Shipione's warnings and cast the
sole dissenting vote against MP-II. Again, wisely, Donna
cast the sole dissenting vote on May 30th 2006 saying
that in her opinion the 2007 budget was underfunding the
pension system. Unlike the other Councilors, clear
thinking Donna does not need expensive defense lawyers
at taxpayers' expense.
The 2007 budget
undoubtedly DID underfund the City's pension fund,
therefore its adoption was an illegal act. Hiding behind
actuaries will not save the individual Councilors who
knowingly committed that illegal act on May 30th 2006.
Here are Diann's questions:
THE AUDIT COMMITTEE:
Finally, I have the following
questions, which would be helpful for the Audit
Committee to clearly answer:
Is it ok to
calculate pension contributions based on assumptions
that are negotiated in settlements by parties who do not
have as their primary objective the correct funding of
the pension system; but rather have their own economic
interests in mind?
Is it ok to balance the budget by incurring debt to the
pension system (my emphasis)?
Is it ok to
defer annual required pension contributions into the
future? If so, how many years or decades may the City
defer payments? May the City intentionally underfund for
an indefinite period of time?
May the City
take contribution holidays to the pension system when
payments are delayed one or more years?
May the City
make deficient contributions with a balloon payment owed
in the future? If so, how many years may the City defer
the balloon payment?
Can the City
receive a loan from the Pension System? If so, what is
the maximum amount? What is the maximum time frame for
repayment for the loan?
Is it ok for
the Council to rely on the SDCERS actuary for the
calculation of the annual required contribution even if
questions exist regarding the fact that the calculated
contribution amount is deficient and underfunds?
City hire an actuary to determine the appropriate
calculations if there are questions regarding the
reliability and motives of SDCERS and its actuary?
payments may the City defer indefinitely into the future
besides the pension contribution?
Is it ok for
the City to create debt with no known source of revenue
for funding? If so, what is the maximum amount of debt
that may be created this way? Is the amount unlimited?
What are the
standards of disclosure for the City Council when it
knowingly and intentionally underfunds the pension
Former SDCERS Trustee"
by Pat Flannery
by U-T staff writer Dani Dodge regarding
developer Doug Manchester's plans for our city's
plans will be presented at a June 28 board meeting of
the Centre City Development Corp., the city's downtown
planning agency" speaks volumes about how this city
continues to amaze me is that there is so little public
outrage about the fact that
these plans will not be
presented to the City Council but to an unelected body
called the CCDC, headed by the developers' faithful
Graham, the unelected
mayor of downtown. So far our "watchdog newspaper" has
treated this state of affairs as perfectly normal. I
think this self-styled "watchdog newspaper" needs a
watchdog - which is one of the reasons I write this
If you think we should be concerned about
the power of unelected people such as Nancy
is preparing for his date with Judge Barton on Monday -
by Pat Flannery
To paraphrase Nixon "when you grab
them by the
wallet their hearts and minds soon follow".
Former City Manager Jack McGrory knew how that works.
"Greed happened" in 1996 and in 2002, no doubt about
that. Now Mike Aguirre has a date with Judge Barton on
Monday and is hyping his side of this sordid story. That
is why yesterday we got to hear the 1996 tape of
how McGrory "grabbed them by the wallet". It is all part
of Mike's strategy. Good. After all he represents us.
on Aguirre's release of the 1996 tape gives a little
"balance" to Mike's (admittedly) self-serving press
conference yesterday (after all he is not
he is hardly going to call a press conference saying
"I'm such an idiot"). She called
attorney Bob Rose, who represents
former pension board member John Torres. Rose not
surprisingly suggested an alternative topic for an
Aguirre press conference: Mike dropping Torres and the
other city employees from his suit before Judge Barton
on Monday. Fair enough Jennifer and Bob.
for further "balance" Vigil reported a Rebecca Wilson,
retirement system spokeswoman: “There was no
conscious effort to keep the tapes from him .... I mean,
they're public record.” That's right Rebecca, they
are public record. But Mike had to practically steal
them from the pension board who fought like tigers to
keep them from him. Remember their desperate attempts to
cover everything under attorney-client privilege? And
how Mike had to forcibly "appropriate" dozens of boxes
of "public records" from city officials offices? Good
for Mike. He knew those tapes were a smoking gun and
that they wanted to keep them under wraps.
him dropping his case against Bob Rose's client and
when Mike filed it back in July last year. Perhaps Mike
has decided to clear the underbrush around his central
case against the City and rely on what Vigil described
(last July) as "a separate criminal case being
pursued by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis charges
Lexin, Saathoff, Torres, Webster, Wilkinson and Mary
Vattimo, a former board member, with felony conflicts of
interest". Felonies! Mike's was just a civil case.
Have you noticed Bonnie Dumanis' teeth lately? Mike is a
pussy cat compared to our ambitious female District
Attorney. Now she's got teeth.
I am glad that
Mike has let (relatively newcomer) City Auditor John
Torell off the hook who is not among those charged by
Dumanis. Aguirre had included the City Auditor because
he wanted the court to order him to stop paying the
disputed 1996 and 2002 benefits into the pension system
until the court ruled on their legality. Torell
So now we await the only opinion that
matters: that of Judge Barton.
sweetheart bond financing part of the giveaways? -
by Pat Flannery
San Diego deserves its
"Enron by the sea" moniker. Insider financial
manipulators are still at it while the city's occupants
are lulled to sleep by the soothing omissions of its one
and only daily newspaper. Like a city crier announcing:
"3:00 A.M. and all's well" while the city burns,
U-T staff writer Matt Hall
the issuance of a $100 million bond yesterday as if it
were "June 16, 2006 in San Diego and all's well".
Quoting a city spokesperson
he reported: "the bonds were sold with yields of
7.125 percent. They were bought by four or five unnamed
investors who are expected to finalize their deals in a
few days" and that "Sanders described the rate as
“real good,” while City Council President Scott Peters
called it “pretty good”".
As a California licensed
mortgage broker I can get just about anybody a 30 year
fixed mortgage today for
Mortgage Banking companies daily inundate my fax machine
with solicitations for my mortgage origination business.
Those companies are eager to risk their investor's money
clients, who only have their job income and their
overpriced homes as collateral.
Now look at what
the city has to offer: a higher interest rate, better
collateral and tax free status! Here is what I wrote on
John Torell disappears into a black hole"
(I am still awaiting an explanation from him).
For background on this (smelly) $152 million B of A deal
read the following blogs:
do you "restructure" a bad loan? - 10/21/05",
at City Hall made a lot of money today - 10/24/05",
finances are a strange thing to be sure - 10/26/05"
Lord it's hard to be patient - 11/03/05".
Why is nobody in the press asking the questions I
asked John Torell? I would urge Matt Hall to listen and
watch city staffer
Dennis Kahlie's presentation
before the City Council on October 24, 2005. It is Item
200 "Restructuring of Sewer System
Interim Financing" and starts at
1:12 mins. He clearly stated he was able to get "3%
money" from B of A which he characterized as "not
bad". Matt Hall on behalf of the U-T should ask for
that settlement statement, as I did. Perhaps he will
have better luck.
Why are we now paying 7.125% or
was the October, 2005 B of A deal phony and unnecessary?
If so, city staffers like Kahlie were willing
accomplices. If not, they should be asked to please
explain, starting with full disclosure of the B of A
Bankruptcy? Bring it on! -
by Pat Flannery
Reaction to what will
probably become known as the 2006 "McGuigan
signed yesterday by Sanders, Peters and Aguirre on
behalf of the City and Michael Conger on behalf of
plaintiff William McGuigan, is not in yet but I will
stick my neck out and predict that the unions will not
be pleased, that Ann Smith will not be amused.
It seems to me that in item 9 Aguirre has succeeded in
pension beneficiaries to desist from all further
claims of under funding. I wonder if Ann Smith will
protest that little item before the City Council when it
comes before them for final approval.
Conger, that insatiable Rancho Santa Fe "claims"
attorney, has extracted another big fat fee from the
City and will no longer be snapping at Aguirre's heels,
Mike can concentrate on his fight to roll back the
illegal pension benefits.
Who knows, maybe Conger
will join him. There will be rich pickings for private
attorneys if it turns out, as many believe, that some
Council members conspired with SDCERS to approve illegal
pension benefits. Conger may extract a few more Rancho
Santa Fe mortgage payments from the City - he seems to
have made a career out of it.
Italiano, now that she has extracted her own promise
from the current SDCERS board to uphold her
"presidential benefit", made part of the infamous MPII
deal in November 2002, will probably stay in the
background and let Ann Smith duke it out with Aguirre in
court. Italiano has always let others do her dirty work
for her. She was smart enough not to go on the SDCERS
board herself, for example.
It may be that she is
ultimately relying on the bankruptcy court to protect
her "presidential benefit". If so, she is mistaken. A
bankruptcy judge would vigorously question all
outstanding claims against the City. The quickest way to
prove the merits of Aguirre's legal position would be to
go before a bankruptcy judge.
there Valium in the water? -
by Pat Flannery
I and so many others spend countless hours working
on Donna Frye’s campaign last year when even if she had
won the mayor’s race she would be powerless to influence
what will be built on the 14.7 acre Navy Broadway
Complex, often referred to as San Diego's front door,
where our equivalent of the Sydney Opera House should be
built? Or maybe that's why we worked on Donna's
In any case guess who gets to decide
what will be built there: a bunch of developers' lackeys
called the CCDC.
If this is not another flagrant
case of corporate welfare, then I don’t know what is.
Like Corky McMillan at “Liberty Station” Doug Manchester
now gets to build a mega complex of his choosing on our
city’s front door. He can do it because our elected City
Council continues to declare this 14.7 acres, the most
prime land in America, blighted! What is the matter with
us? Is there Valium in the water?
telling us that
Financial Group officials presented the designs
yesterday to the real estate committee of the
And who did the UT reporter call for comment? Not
anybody on the City Council! He called Hal Sadler who
said “I think what you're seeing is a work in process”.
And who is Hal Sadler? Former Chairman of CCDC now
working for Doug Manchester (not that he wasn’t working
for him while he was CCDC chairman). What an incestuous
little group they are.
Nancy Graham, our
unelected Downtown Mayor, fresh from Jeb Bush's Florida,
heads up the agency that will decide San Diego’s answer
to Sydney’s Opera House.
And if the only newspaper you read is the UT, it
will all seem perfectly normal to you.
think we have forgotten? -
by Pat Flannery
memorable 2001 piece
The Reader tells the story of the de la Fuente
case better than I can. It tells so much about how San
Diego was misgoverned under successive Republican
giveaway administrations. Thank you Matt Potter.
Can you imagine the skullduggery that would still be
going on if termed-out establishment fixer Casey Gwinn
was succeeded by his protégé Leslie Devaney?
The de la Fuente "award" was only one of many city
giveaways engineered by City Attorney Casey Gwinn with a
wink and a nod. The Liberty Station giveaway was one of
the most outrageous in American history. It would be
hard to find an equal anywhere across the country. It
was signed by Gwinn and has yet to be investigated.
No wonder the City Attorney's Office is so contentious,
it is where most of the skullduggery took place. That is
why it was so coveted by the corrupt establishment.
by a state appeals court overturning developer Roque De
La Fuente's $100 million "award" is the beginning of the
end of corporate welfare in San Diego. Let's roll back
the illegal pension benefits to the unions and strip the
McMillan Co. of its ill-gotten billions at Liberty
Station. That would be a good start.
time the media got it right about Aguirre and the
by Pat Flannery
response to Sunday's U-T editorial
raises more questions. Why did the U-T not report that
"filed documents asking the court
to deny relief on the grounds that the McGuigan
litigation had already been resolved in an earlier case"
despite the fact that Mike sent them copies?
he also send copies to the Voice and if so why did they
not report it? If Mike had not mentioned it in his
letter we would not have known about it. Is the Voice
now trying to outdo the U-T in slamming Aguirre?
today called for "more
taxes, a big real estate auction or massive service cuts"!
That's the union line!
Mike seems to be the only
one around here who makes any sense. It is time both the
U-T and the Voice understood one simple truth: it was
individual employees who committed the illegal acts, not
the city. The problem of course is that most of those
individuals were city union members, their illegal acts
benefited the city unions and the sycophant city media
will not lay a glove on the all-powerful city unions.
Keep it up Mike. The fact remains that at least half of
the $1.4 billion pension deficit consists of illegally
granted benefits. Those benefits have to be rolled back
before anything else happens. There is no way the good
people of this city will agree to either "more
taxes, a big real estate auction or massive service
cuts" to pay for illegal benefits, no matter how
often Ann Smith stomps her petulant foot at the Council
podium or no matter how much our
morally bankrupt media don't get it.
Union-Tribune keeps up its rant against Aguirre -
by Pat Flannery
The real meat of today's
against Mike Aguirre is captured in this quote:
"The only way the arrangement will work is if Aguirre
gets out of the way and allows the outside counsel to do
his job without interference from the City Attorney's
The U-T would like all this city's
legal affairs handled by "outside counsel", "without
interference from the City Attorney's Office." They
just don't like Aguirre. They had become accustomed to
having a compliant (Republican) City Attorney, now they
say the problem is Mike's temperament. Maybe the problem
is that Mike is a Democrat (and a good one at that),
maybe the U-T just doesn't like the Democratic
If they really cared about this city
they would be writing editorials protesting the hiring
of private attorneys at taxpayer expense defending rogue
city employees who sold our city down the river for
personal gain. Aguirre's sin is that he wants to
insulate the city from the criminal activities of a few
individuals. Mike wants to shield us while the U-T wants
us to pay up on illegal promises. Who has the best
interest of this city at heart?
San Diego is no longer part of San Diego City -
by Pat Flannery
You may have
by U-T staff reporter Janette Steele, but did you notice
anything disturbing about it? I did. It makes the coup
d'etat that has occurred downtown seem perfectly normal.
Private parks! Private fire stations!
Ms. Steele writes "The city's
Redevelopment Agency will float $109 million in bonds to
pay for downtown parks, affordable-housing projects,
fire stations and a dozen other types of amenities in
the city center." She finishes: "Nancy Graham,
president of the Centre City Development Corp., said
four new downtown parks are in the works and her
agency is poised to start architectural drawings for
one or more new fire stations."
unelected "Downtown Mayor" (this
I don't remember voting for) has more power than
Mayor Sanders. Yet Sanders has lauded this usurpation of
his powers. Government by redevelopment agencies is
perfectly proper as far as the U-T and Jerry Sanders are
concerned, so long as it serves the Republican ideology.
Republicans pride themselves on being anti-government
and "pro business" - in reality pro big business. Under
the auspices of CCDC San Diego's downtown real estate
developers are now building their own fire stations! Why
do we need city government when real estate developers
can run their "redevelopment areas" as their own private
fiefdoms? On our tax dollars! For all practical purposes
downtown San Diego is no longer part of San Diego city.
And that's the way the U-T and Sanders want it?
Scott Peters afraid of? -
by Pat Flannery
Yesterday, a well-known hit
man for the Municipal Employee's Association, attorney
Dan Coffee acting under the sickening protection of
Council President Scott Peters (who himself owes his
Council Presidency position to MEA sponsorship) demeaned
the decorum of City Hall by engaging in a lengthy and
disgusting personal rant against our elected City
Attorney Mike Aguirre.
Why? Because Peters and
his MEA friends are in mortal dread of the growing wrath
of the people over the rape of the city's pension fund.
Peters even allowed Howard Guess, well known to him as
an MEA member and fierce opponent of Aguirre, to
masquerade as an Aguirre supporter so that Peters could
allocate 15 more minutes to those opposing Aguirre. Now
that's dirty pool and Aguirre called him on it.
Yesterdays' rants coordinated by Peters clearly
indicates how desperately some Council Members fear the
growing success of Aguirre's pursuit of pension
The election of Mike Aguirre
deprived the MEA and their Council friends (a devil's
brew if ever there was one) of a compliant City
Attorney. Previous holders of that Office such as Casey
Gwinn not only facilitated the MEA in raping the City by
ignoring the illegal pension benefits but by signing off
on the billion dollar giveaway to developer Corky
McMillan and "negotiating" the notorious Chargers'
So rather than being offended
by yesterday's coordinated rants I am encouraged that
Mike Aguirre's fight against greed is starting to bite.
It seems to me that Peters for one is feeling the heat.
If an American icon like Congressman "Duke" Cunningham
can go to the pokey, mere City Council Members are
clearly vulnerable. If Scott Peters has no consciousness
of guilt why is he resisting Aguirre's request for a
deposition regarding his involvement in the pension
problem? Why will Peters not sit down with our City
Attorney and help him in his enquiries? To me such
behavior has all the hallmarks of consciousness of
cover-up goes on -
by Pat Flannery
Anybody who watched
"Authorization of Funding for Audit Committee and
Related Entities" on Monday, May 8th 2006, can be left
with no doubt that our City Council again voted to pay
Kroll & Co for their ignominious part in the ongoing
cover-up of the massive fraud committed on the people of
this city in the granting of illegal pension benefits to
certain City Council Members and their city union
Tony Dahlberg of Kroll & Co admitted
spending four hours with KPMG last week, presumably to
set it all up. Jim Madaffer (was he at that meeting?)
then led off for the City by helping Dahlberg establish
an escape hatch from ever issuing a report.
Dahlberg needs between now and mid June (the fake
deadline for issuing a report) is something "completely
unanticipated". That is the setup.
It should pose no problem for KPMG to come up with
something "completely unanticipated" as the last thing
they want to do is to ever issue a 2003 audit report let
alone defend it. Aguirre gave a hint as to to how they
will oblige Kroll by telling us how John Tyrrell, our
City Auditor, told him how KPMG are currently asking
questions which would normally be asked at the beginning
or the middle of the audit - for 2003!
have no intention of ever issuing a 2003 audit and the
Council knows it.
Monday's piece of theatre was
purely for the cameras, ably choreographed by Jim
Madaffer. Yet our media reported the whole sorry charade
as if it were for real.
elected Mike Aguirre, not Bob Kittle -
by Pat Flannery
Our City Attorney, the one
we elected, does not need the City Council's
permission to do his job - to enforce civil law. Does
our Police Chief require the Council's permission
to arrest a City Councilor if he or she robs a bank?
Just as the Police Chief's job is to enforce criminal
law, the City Attorney's job is to enforce civil law.
Those charged with either get their day in court to
By resisting Aguirre's right
to file a civil lawsuit against them Peters, Murphy et
al are resisting the law itself. Their actions
correspond exactly to a robber resisting arrest.
Our one daily newspaper persists in characterizing this
battle as a personal slogging match between Mike Aguirre
and members of the City Council. This is not a personal
battle. This goes to the very core of our democratic
Our democratic system rests on three
great pillars: (1) that sovereignty is vested in "We the
People", not in any higher power; (2) that we are "a
government of laws not of men"; (3) that the will of the
majority always prevails, i.e. "majority rule".
But can a majority always be right? Is there some innate
wisdom in numbers? The answer of course is that a
majority is not always right. It is only
presumed to be right, based on a further presumption
that decisions are made by a well informed people.
This last presumption is the very core of our democratic
My point is that without a well informed
people democracy cannot work.
Now look at what is happening in our city. Our
only daily newspaper is actually feeding us
Don't take my word for it, read
City Attorney's letter
to that newspaper last Saturday, May 6th 2006
where he accuses them of "undermining the litigation
that would eliminate the illegal pension benefits that
threaten to bankrupt the city". He further accuses
them of seeking to "shut the door on the very
litigation and investigation that would protect
taxpayers by stopping the payment of hundreds of
millions of dollars in illegal pension benefits".
Bob Kittle, the presumed author of that May 5th 2006
editorial attack on Aguirre, knows very well that "public
release of transcripts involving pending litigation
could prejudice the city's case" (to quote Aguirre).
The awesome reality is that that is exactly what Kittle
wants! To muddy the waters surrounding Aguirre's civil
When the editorial board of our only daily
newspaper persistently attacks our elected City Attorney
(to protect its own wealthy friends) our democracy
itself is under attack. This should only make the rest
of us ordinary citizens all the more determined to get
to the bottom of whatever it is our "ruling class" and
their "newspaper" are hiding from us.
Copyright "San Diego Today"
November, 2004 -