Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is the Mayor Serious?

I may be in the mountains of the Eastern Sierras, enjoying some solitude, thought, relaxing walks and naps and a bit of fishing; but I am not completely out of touch and not paying attention. I have enjoyed many hikes, hours of floating on various lakes in my float tube fishing and hanging around my camp site, reading and enjoying the great outdoors. My failure is my refusal to leave my Blackberry at home or at the very least turned off and in the glove box. I get continuous updates from various mediums as to the goings on in San Diego. The one that caught my attention and caused me to drive into town and find an internet connection was the mayor's speech today before the San Diego County Taxpayers Association Lunch. If you missed it you need to take the time to view it on the City's TV site.

I have known this man for more years than I care to acknowledge. I always thought of him as somewhat intelligent; albeit a bit overstated in the education arena, but not an idiot by any means. I was WRONG!!! I was absolutely dead wrong in my opinion of the mayor and his intelligence. After reading his latest speech and the diatribe of idiocy he espouses, I question if he is even in touch with reality, let alone smart enough to understand balancing a checkbook for a single family household in America today. On what planet is it OK to take on over TWO BILLION DOLLARS in ADDITIONAL DEBT when it is clear current levels of revenue will leave the City of San Diego with OVER a ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT next year and the result will be more cuts to core services, reductions to wages and benefits of employees, and more structural changes that will continue to erode the infrastructure of every community in this city. The mayor espouses adding on to the Convention Center to the tune of almost ONE BILLION DOLLARS; build a new city hall for another cool ONE BILLION DOLLARS and a new downtown library for a small pittance of TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS give or take a couple of million. There is not one mention of where the money is going to come from; simply this, "We cannot allow our judgment to be clouded by the defeatists who think the only response to a weak economy is to abandon our aspirations."

I need help with the logic and reasoning from the mayor at this point. The mayor says, "During this time of economic hardship, I would never ask residents to choose between funding basic services and investing in discretionary capital projects. Each of the following initiatives will be funded by revenues generated by the projects. Put another way, the money we invest in the projects would not exist but for the projects themselves." I will be short and to the point; GET REAL MAYOR! If any of this garbage were true the revenues would ALREADY be in place to SUPPORT the projects you are pushing. This is pure garbage and anyone with a brain and the ability to add can see right through this. These projects will COST taxpayers dearly and many will never see the benefit of ANY of these projects.

The mayor continues, "I'm fully aware that, in times of economic upheaval, some people want government to stop in its tracks. They think progress was all right for previous generations, but it's taken us about as far as it can. This kind of thinking is nothing new in San Diego. Virtually every major project in the city has encountered opposition from groups who have no faith in tomorrow, who view all progress with suspicion, who don't believe we deserve to be a great city. If these people had their way, we'd still be riding ferries to Coronado. There wouldn't be a Mission Bay, or a trolley system, or a vibrant downtown with homes, shops and restaurants. We might not even have clean water piped into our homes."

What is it going to take to wake this stooge of a mayor up? Is he serious about this crap he is saying? Really? I was having so much fun in the Sierras and I just had to read this speech . I hate when I agree with the little rube or Steve Francis for that matter but they both have the mayor pegged. He is so off on this idiocy it is absolutely pathetic and will in the end be his defining moment of failure. To think he keeps trying to pawn off his antiquated and outdated and obsolete 5 y ear plan as a positive and at the same time rails against "bloggers" who have the sense to speak out against his lunacy. The mayor makes a comment I could not leave alone; "We cannot accept a City that is only part-efficient any more than we would accept a City that is part-honest." He even said it with a straight face. He would not know the truth at this point in his term any more than he would be able to balance that checkbook.

The mayor continues with, "Because we've been so successful in reducing operations, and because we chose pay cuts over service reductions, the public has largely been insulated from the magnitude of the challenges we've already overcome." The public has been snowed and lied to about the reality of what has truly been done to the workforce in San Diego. By reducing operations, the mayor forced over 250 experienced, senior police officer and almost 90 experienced, senior fire fighters to leave. The mayor boasts of his willingness to take the new hire with "Enthusiasm" over the experience he had just forced out. It does not stop there. The ability to hire and retain officers and firefighters is becoming increasingly difficult. The problem is agencies and cities across America understand the importance of a qualified, experienced and stable public safety. This mayor could give a damn.

I had to read this garbage twice to believe what he said. These are his words folks, not mine. "The City is no different than your family, or any family in these difficult times that has to weigh priorities and make tough decisions. So in my office, we talk every day about where we can save money, while doing all we can to protect services and the quality of life people care about." So let me ask a stupid question mayor, if it is ok? The city is no different than my family? The city is weighing priorities and making tough decisions; just like my family? You are kidding right? You are considering ways to SAVE money? You are doing this with the intent to protect services and the quality of life people care about? What people if I may ask? In my house I am not considering any building because I have enough debt. I am not talking about building a new home even though my existing one is in need of new plumbing, carpet, paint, doors, heater and air conditioner and many other renovations to a house that is almost 30 years old. I am not doing this because my income has been slashed and the costs of my benefits have exploded. I have had to decide to wait for these improvements, renovations and expansions. I did so with my family in mind. I decided paying for my son's law school and paying off my daughters four years of college at Cornell University and two years at UCSD getting her Masters was more important than pushing that debt off on them. I made a promise to my children to pay for their education and I am not like the City and reneging on these promises. So I live in a house that needs work and improvements and renovations that will wait. Before I leave this comment; whose quality of life are you talking about? Surly it is not that of your employees. Correct me if I am wrong here.

Remember my piece on the new computer program the city is attempting to get up and running to the tune of over THIRTY TWO MILLION DOLLARS? Well, the mayor is touting this program as another example of his stellar work. He says, "OneSD represents a quantum leap forward in our ability to identify inefficiencies, integrate our internal controls and pull data to help decision-making. But state-of-the-art infrastructure like this doesn't come cheap. OneSD required a significant investment by the city – an investment in accountability and efficiency that will realize returns for years to come." The part about "state-of-the-art infrastructure like this doesn't come cheap" is no joke. But why did we have to have the gold plated version of a program when the version all other cities across America could have been plucked off the shelf and for a fraction of the price been up and running long ago and a much reduced price? This is just another example of the puffing and blowing of smoke from this city's administration. This 32 million dollar joke is still not working and is creating more issues than it is solving problems.

I am not going to go into the Qualcomm Stadium site enhancements the mayor is bantering about. Take some time and read it for yourself. It is on page seven of his speech. I see a conflict of interest brewing here for the mayor to be so helpful and free with his giving to SDSU. If memory serves me he is a graduate of SDSU and is part of the alumni? I smell something fishy here (no, not from my trout fishing) but just can't get my hands around this one right now.

I have been at this for a while and want to get back to my camp site and the fish I have for dinner. The mayor closed with a comment directed at the likes of me and I want to respond. The mayor said, "Those public-spirited citizens, not the voices of negativity and inertia, are the true representatives of San Diego. Working together, we can, and we will, ensure that this time is remembered for the strength and wisdom we gained from adversity, and by what we were able to accomplish in spite of it." The mayor praises those "public-spirited citizens" who helped out during the fires yet fails completely to acknowledge the work, effort and dedication of a single employee. The mayor takes a shot at those of us who are the "voices of negativity and inertia" as not being a part of San Diego. He made a couple of wise cracks about "bloggers" as being part of these voices of negativity and inertia. I am honored he feels this way. It is a shame he does not pay attention to the reality of what people all over the city are saying. I am one voice and speak simply form my little slice of this earth. I take umbrage to the assertion a negative voice is NOT a true representative of San Diego. I happen to be a native of this City mayor. Where are you from? I have dedicated over 30 years of service to this community and also put myself out there as an elected representative for the people of the Poway Unified School District. What give you the right to speak negatively about those of us who share a different view of reality to you? What makes you better than any one of us?

People need to wake up and speak up and stop sitting passively by and letting this dolt tell you what you need and want. The longer you sit quietly on the sidelines the stronger his idiocy becomes and takes shape. The mayor does not care about your priorities or concerns. He sees his position as one of telling YOU what YOU need and want. HE IS SETTING YOUR PRIORITIES. It is time you tell him what YOUR PRIORITIES are.


SD Native said...

San Diego….Have we not learned our lesson from the past!

For reasons of personal gratification, San Diego Mayors seem to want to spend the money of current taxpayers, as well as that of future generations, on pet projects. Whether it is for Russian Faberge eggs, Charger ticket guarantees, NFL / Super Bowls, Republican National Convention, Convention Center, etc. the list goes on…… Each project was promoted as generating revenue for the City.

Well, where is that revenue now? All I see are additional expenses and future financial obligations. Each project is promoted as a revenue generating venture. I say B. S. Show me the money. We wouldn’t be in the fiscal mess we’re in today, if the revenue stream statements were true.

We can’t even afford fire rings at the beach. Our streets are a disaster. Public Safety is suffering. The entire City workforce is so thin that services are suffering, to the point of some departments being dysfunctional. Now Sanders wants to spend over two billion dollars on pet projects! What a friggin douche bag idiot.

The City of San Diego needs to take care of current financial obligations before taking on additional debt. This is outrageous. No more spending for additional projects. I can’t believe this clown. Is he delusional? Could he be senile? This is not rational thinking. Another bigger government politician - spend, spend and spend. This guy has to go. No politician who supports his plans will receive my financial support of funding. I will support those who oppose such political hacks.

SunnyDiego said...

If the City were a business, its corporate officers would be in jail. Basic and fundamental services of City government are falling apart and Mayor Sanders wants to build more public infrastructure? We can't even take care of the infrastructure we have! In this economy? With state cuts about to hit home in a big way? Fix the roads. Adequately fund police and fire for a change. Then and only then, talk to me about why you deserve a brand new office.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what our former City Attorney Michael Agirre thinks about all this spending...

Now before you get your panties all up in a bunch, you have to give him credit about bringing spending and costs under control.

Anonymous said...

What's Mayor Sanders been smoking??????

Anonymous said...

A growing STRUCTURAL deficit of 100 million dollars! The State of California closing offices three days a month and now the courts on Wednesdays. This means the State is going to either take more next year or not return dollars the cities count on.

Even with this all this our power mad mayor is trying to write his own legacy by spending billions of future dollars when he will not be around, or accountable.

Our mayor says projects in past like stadiums, convention centers, downtown redevelopment have been positive for San Diego. I'd argue he's correct; they've been positive for certain San Diegans who been involved in the development of those projects. But for the taxpayers who face an annual structural deficit they're a constant drain. The Qualcomm Stadium loses million every year in operations costs, our redevelopment agencies are run by crooks and millions of tax dollars have disappeared and the convention center stands vacant more days a year now and costs millions to operate.

So Mr. Mayor where is all this revenue? If we have all this money coming in why does the City have a structural deficit and why has it been going on for at least 10 years? The Council's Independant Budget Analyst or IBA exposed this issue yet your office, which is responsible for it, ignores it. Once again we have a Mayor who promised transparency but has obfuscated more truth than his predecessors all for the sake of his image, his future employment.

Wake up San Diego, it time to open the windows, and yell I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore. It's time to stop the runaway spending train and bring it into the station of fiscal sanity.

Over the last 20 years the politician in collusion with city bureaucrats have taken us from America's Finest City to being labeled "Enron by the Sea" by the national media. No Mr. Mayor, not a few local bloggers, the national media, the New York Times and others have identified you and your predecessors as responsible. Now you tell us two billion more dollars we don't have will fix the problems, to quote Congressman Joe Wilson, of Georgia, "You Lie" and what's worse, you know you're lying and you know you're not accountable.

Gene said...

I love this line...."And I’ve been defending our city in Sacramento, where their answer to budget problems is to steal our money -- and expect us to be grateful they didn’t steal more"...doesn't sound at all like what the City employees have been saying since Mayor Sanders took office!

Anonymous said...

Sparky, you stated: “If memory serves me he is a graduate of SDSU and is part of the alumni? I smell something fishy here (no, not from my trout fishing) but just can't get my hands around this one right now.” I believe the moron-mayor purposely misleads residents, U.S. Citizen Voters (and other country ILLEGAL voters) into believing he “GRADUATED FROM SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY.” If you read his campaign biography you see that it only states that he attended SDSU, but claims it as his Alma-mater. He leads the reader to believe that he graduated, but doesn’t say it. HE DIDN’T. This is just another part of his everyday deception. He is truly the Emperor who has no clothes! What an empty self-serving bag of wind.