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.