September 9, 2005

Editorial:

What is wrong with The City Council of San Diego?

Throughout the whole Pension Benefit debacle the City appointed Pension Board has steadfastly refused to release relevant documents important to complete the City audit necessary to determine where the City is, financially. Due to some creative manipulation, carried out by the Pension Board, the City has been placed in a financial position which has caused it to lose its positive credit rating and now finds it unable to borrow money to finance the amount of debt owed to its lenders.

Citing Attorney/Client privilege, the Pension Board has refused to release the papers. It has been determined that creative bookkeeping and the adjusting of the Pension Plan has placed the City in a position of not being able to pay its bills since 2003. It lost its good credit rating and now is in the position that it can’t borrow money to pay the city’s bills. The Pension Board records may place its members in a precarious situation that may see them facing criminal penalties.

Pension Board members are appointed by the City Council and as such can be removed by vote of the City Council. The City Council had the unique opportunity to make a substantive change to the Pension Board by removing its President, Peter Preovolos who has been unwilling to release the Pension Board files. The City could then fill the four vacant seats with Board members committed to releasing the documents. Three of the City Council members lacked the courage to make the change. Why?

Herein is the difference between the City Council and the City Attorney, Mike Aguirre. Aguirre stands by his convictions and the Rule of Law. City Council members, Jim Madaffer, Scott Peters and Tony Young, fiddle around while the city continues to deteriorate. In particular Madaffer, who has the most to answer for, in as much that he had previously called for the removal of the Pension Board President Peter Preovolos!

The former Mayor, Dick Murphy, has already retired himself on a very cozy pension plan provided by this same Pension Board. Recently former City Councilman Ralph Inzunza and Michael Zucchet were found guilty of accepting bribes from Las Vegas Nightclub interests. They are awaiting sentencing. They may be able to receive a “pension”! That leaves Acting Mayor Toni Atkins, and City Council-persons; Scott Peters, Brian Maienschein, Donna Frye (Mayoral candidate), Tony Young and Jim Madaffer to run the City’s business. At a time of crisis, real leadership rises to the top and makes the tough decisions necessary to right the ship of state. It takes 5 votes to set sail and right the Ship of State. Do we have five courageous votes to vote in behalf of the citizens of San Diego??? Is City Attorney Mike Aquirre the only one to fearlessly tilt windmills in behalf of the Voters of San Diego?

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