Jerry Brown Wants to Rein in Redevelopment Scams

Horton Plaza: architectural novelty, financial flop, and another Centre City Development Corporation boondoggle
  • Horton Plaza: architectural novelty, financial flop, and another Centre City Development Corporation boondoggle

Should taxpayer money go to schools and fire protection, or should it be used to subsidize shopping malls, big-box retailers, auto plazas, movie multiplexes, hotels, and pro sports stadiums? This may be California’s biggest battle of the year. You may see bumper stickers with the words “Schools or Costco?”

Governor Jerry Brown has proposed the elimination of 400 redevelopment agencies around the state that divert $6 billion a year from critical public sector services and use the loot to subsidize private sector real estate projects, including pro sports stadiums and even casinos. “That’s 12 percent of all property taxes statewide,” says Assemblyman Chris Norby of Orange County, who has opposed redevelopment abuses for years.

California government-financed redevelopment was innocently hatched in the mid-1940s. It was meant to eliminate blight and provide affordable housing. However, in effect, “Once something is declared blighted it is presumed to be blighted forever,” says Christopher Sutton, a Pasadena lawyer who is involved in one of the suits to invalidate the late-night, hush-hush agreement pushed through the legislature last year that would lift the cap on downtown spending by the Centre City Development Corporation; the agreement would permit an insolvent city to provide a $600 million subsidy for a Chargers stadium. “The presumption of blight is fundamentally dishonest and antidemocratic,” says Sutton.

Adds Sutton, “Redevelopment does not create jobs. It moves jobs and buildings between cities and back around.” That’s exactly what the legislative analyst’s office concluded January 18, to wit: “The presence of a redevelopment area might shift development from one location to another, but does not increase economic activity statewide.”

Similarly, say Sutton and Norby (and others who have studied redevelopment), the requisite affordable housing is not provided in many projects. That’s particularly true in San Diego.

But does the public understand that the potholes destroying their cars and the cutbacks in fire and police protection are a direct result of Centre City hogging the money for downtown projects that should be financed with private capital? The public’s grasp of the scam is what the legislators will have to wrestle with.

It is significant that Orange County assemblyman Norby is a conservative Republican. It’s not just liberals who realize that redevelopment has turned into a corporate-welfare grab. Democrats are in the majority in the legislature; most will probably back Brown’s plan.

Thad Kousser, professor of political science at the University of California San Diego, thinks there is a good chance that Brown’s redevelopment package can pass. “If we are to make major cuts to the University of California system, to community colleges, why should we spare redevelopment agencies when some of the money may wind up in private hands?” he asks. Public sector labor unions have big power in the legislature and will likely side with Democrats. The California Redevelopment Association, which lobbies for the agencies, “is not as powerful as the teachers, prison officers.”

“I think [Brown’s plan] has a very good chance,” says Norby. “Both Democrats and Republicans are for it.” One argument could be that redevelopment has transformed a number of areas around the state. But cities keep finding blight. “If the patient is healed, why keep going to the doctor every day?”

“This will be a battle of special interests rather than something ideological,” says Libertarian Richard Rider. “The construction industry will be giving big bucks. But the statewide labor unions will be in favor of moving more money to Sacramento. May the wealthiest cabal win.”

“It’s doubtful that it will pass,” says Jim Mills, former president pro tem of the state senate, who says that Centre City “has lost its reason for existence.” But in Sacramento, “The Republicans will vote against it and likely get some Democrats.”

One problem is that in San Diego and elsewhere, the downtown developers manipulate the mainstream media. Example: as soon as Brown’s plan was leaked, major local newspapers and TV stations began wailing that the program would hamstring planning efforts. In San Diego, major media rushed to tout redevelopment’s so-called successes: Horton Plaza and Petco Park.

Horton Plaza? It’s an architectural novelty but a financial flop. It opened in 1985 and was successful for a stretch, but soon the anchor retail stores began moving out. So did smaller retailers and restaurants. Centre City moved one of its own offices there to keep the vacancy rate down. Early last year, Centre City told a Reader reporter that the 30,000-plus people living downtown were not sufficient to sustain a retail mall and 40 to 50 percent of shoppers were tourists. Retailers negotiated lower rates; the center delayed a major renovation. Rich Mexicans continued to shop at Fashion Valley instead of Horton Plaza.

Just recently, Horton’s owner, Westfield America, wangled a real redevelopment rip-off. It would tear down one of its largest buildings. The City would shell out more than $8 million to build a park in the vacant space. Westfield would take over maintenance of the park and schedule 200 yearly events there. Get this: the City would relieve Westfield of $35 million in profit-sharing payments owed through 2036. “This is an unbelievable con,” says former Councilmember Bruce Henderson. “[Westfield] said, ‘We are desperate to tear a building down. Would you pay us $35 million to do it?’” The small park in front of the building has been seedy for years. Who is to say the park won’t remain seedy? “We should have given them a demolition permit, told them we will keep our $35 million in profit sharing, and said we won’t pay a dime for [anything else].” If Westfield wants a park there, it should pay for it, he says. It’s more proof that when the City negotiates with the private sector, the City invariably “gets snookered.”

And Petco Park? The City plunked in $300 million. It subsidized nearby condos that can’t attract residents and hotels that can’t attract visitors. Padre attendance at Petco is lower than it was at Qualcomm, and the ballpark is at least a $20 million annual drain on the City.

Now the downtown overlords are pushing for a massive Chargers stadium subsidy, even though the only thing blighted in downtown San Diego is the City’s financial condition. The hastily drawn, secret bill to lift Centre City’s cap “doesn’t meet the smell test,” says Pasadena lawyer Sutton. “It was written on a notepad and grafted onto a bill regarding farmland. The legislature has no shame. These giveaways to developers are no different than Tammany Hall [New York City’s 19th-century graft haven]. The development agencies take the money and dole it out to political contributors.”

San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre has filed a suit against the legislature’s guerrilla raid. The defendants are three state agencies. “A finding that a project area is blighted is the absolute prerequisite for redevelopment,” says the suit. But Senate Bill 863 was rammed through “with no committee hearings, no debate before the public, behind closed doors, and while the City of San Diego and the Centre City Development Corporation were in the middle of conducting a study to determine if the relevant project area was sufficiently blighted,” says the suit. It cites a recent appellate decision in which the court rejected Glendora’s blight claim under similar circumstances. Aguirre filed in Sacramento “so we don’t sue the power structure in San Diego; we make them play an away game.”

Says Aguirre, “It is time to wean the developers from subsidies and have them embrace competition.”

That has worked in downtown Los Angeles, says Steve Erie, professor of political science at the University of California San Diego. He and a Ph.D. candidate, Vlad Kogan, have shown that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Los Angeles was able to rein in its redevelopment agency, move tax dollars from downtown to the rest of the city, and block the big subsidies for pro sports facilities. Result: “a downtown renaissance with private capital,” says Erie. But San Diego “is the welfare queen of redevelopment agencies, still on the dole” and still steering taxpayer money downtown. “No other city has such a peculiar institution to capture the benefits for downtown.”

Jerry Brown might be able to do something about that.

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This is why the Republicans in San Diego County don't care who is elected in Sacramento. They get there graft from kickback by the local redevelopment agencies. The major players in the San Diego are developers who like it the way it is. If Brown is able to steal the money from them, it's just a bigger thief stealing from a smaller thief. They all are stealing from "THE PEOPLE" who have to pay the bills.

In San Diego, the redevelopment agency, and particularly Centre City Development Corp., are stealing from the county and from schools. The county should protest these thefts more than it does. Reason: county pols are controlled by the downtown real estate interests, just as councilmembers are. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Pigs at the trough. As an ex-resident of Golden Hill and current resident of Beaverton, OR I can testify that it is the same dynamic everywhere. I lived through the CCDC redevelopment of downtown...a complete giveaway to developers. Escondido can't vote on a public giveaway for the Beavers (Soon to be Friars?) baseball stadium. Not enough time say the rulers. CCDC works in the dark and sucks up the money and Mayor Sanders fiddles as the urban redevelopers drain the coffers. Wake up people...San Diego citizens get what they deserve. Maybe it is the effect of a large military-industrial presence: Do what we order! No questions! NO VOTES. DUH! Enjoy your sunshine, sunshine.

Good points. Although the redevelopment agency (the council) supposedly has ultimate power, it cedes it to CCDC. Result: schools, infrastructure, maintenance, police and fire protection are sacrificed so the City can subsidize a billionaire pro football team family not residing in San Diego. It's criminal. Best, Don Bauder


Hi All, Please see our proposal for a new NFL Chargers stadium on the waterfront in downtown San Diego, which will be built as part of the Convention Center Expansion. The plan could happen without the use of Redevelopment Money. Then CCDC would not have to destroy the Historic Wonder Bread building, and Eminent Domain of the existing Print Shop and Liquor Store.

San Diego can have a stadium and convention center by voting on a project that has the potential to make finance sense through a public tax increase on hotels, taxi, and the downtown Gaslamp District.

However, we are not construction estimators, so we do not know the actual costs, or if the building would pay for itself by constant use.

However, water Cisterns to both hold water, and make desalinization plant underground, as part of San Diego infrastructure would be great for San Diego.

Comments, concerns, and questions are appreciated.

"Comments, concerns, and questions are appreciated."

Hi. Why is your website in Latin? Why don't the links work? What is in this for you? Can you tell me what La Playa Heritage does to earn money and why they are so secretive? Are you money-sucking developers? Who paid who for that slick presentation? Who is paying for you to write here and in other San Diego publications that permit online participation? I'll stop there and eagerly await your response. Thanks, in advance.

The website is under construction until March. Hopefully what is in there is to get San Diego to put water cisterns underground on reclaimed tidelands for any project on Port Land including Chula Vista, the Airport Intermodal Transportation Center, North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, and maybe North Island.

The cisterns would stop the waste and evaporation from our County's surface reservoirs that loose 4 feet a year to the sun, and can be used to store water for reclaimation and desalinizations plans all along San Diego Bay, near the end users.

Thanks for saying the presentation is slick. Hopefully we could be the Project Engineer or Project Manager for the Cistern part.

"However, we are not construction estimators, so we do not know the actual costs, or if the building would pay for itself by constant use."

And then...

"Hopefully we could be the Project Engineer or Project Manager for the Cistern part."

Not saying that whatever you're advertising is or isn't a bargain, but all the same, it sounds like advertising to me. Camp out on redevelopment projects and propose to piggyback your proposal. Genius. Want the information to AEG in Los Angeles? Because there won't be a new stadium built in San Diego, at least not for a decade or more.

I will stick up for Rhodes. She had many excellent ideas while retired. Now she is going back into business, but I do not believe she is using this blog as an advertising vehicle. She has been a good contributor for years. Best, Don Bauder

I can assure you La Playa is not a developer or beholden to developers. Katheryn Rhodes had had many fine ideas. Her particular interest is the homeless. I do not know why she wants this footballl stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Your proposal is interesting, but I see no need whatever for a football stadium. Qualcomm is excellent, well-located and with plenty of parking. The Padres have found that out. Their attendance has been worse the last two years at Petco, when they had very good, winning teams, than it was the last several years at Qualcomm, when they had horrible teams. I don't think the convention center expansion is necessary either. Best, Don Bauder

Hi Don,

Agreed. I love Qualcomm. It was built by Master Architect Frank Hope and is a great example of Modern Design and the Bauhaus movement.


But there is that $11.8 million annual subsidy in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOS) revenues for daily operations, and the $52 million balance for the 1998 stadium Renovation Bonds. The site is not being use to its full potential and cannot be given away to the unions, or anyone without a public vote. The public site is not being used to its full potential.

Beside water freedom, we really want Comic-Con to stay in San Diego.


Plus getting AEG International into San Diego to construct the project could be beneficial.


So, as the Chargers suggest, should San Diego shell out $600 million to pay for a new stadium because of the relatively small amount Qualcomm dissipates every year? That would be crazy. Best, Don Bauder

The same lies are being told again (as with Petco Park), that a new Chargers stadium downtown will revitalize the East Village, create lots of jobs, BS, BS. If it's such a great idea, let the Chargers build it on their own dime.

And, you know, the Chargers have never said that they would do any developing near their new stadium. The stadium as proposed would be on a postage stamp lot. The Chargers said from the beginning that they would not develop surrounding areas. So who will? And what would they build? Condos downtown are glutted. (Vacancy rates are running 80% in some cases and new buyers aren't coming in because HOA bills would be so high.) Hotels are being taken over by lenders. There is no reason to build a retailing establishment because only a bit above 30,000 people live downtown. Office buildings are overbuilt. The entire commercial real estate industry remains in the doldrums. So who would build anything down there? Best, Don Bauder

Great read. Many are unfamiliar with bankruptcy. In 1995, I lived with people who prepared for declaring bankruptcy by spending as much as they could and as fast as they could. Even went around town to all of the quickie loan joints. Court voided every debt.

So, why not a park-stadium etc.

The City of San Diego is already technically insolvent. The mayor admitted as much in all the warnings he made about cutbacks if Prop. D didn't pass. So some want a bankrupt city to spend $600 million to build a stadium for a billionaire family. Is anybody giving sanity tests to the downtown establishment? Best, Don Bauder

I lived with people who prepared for declaring bankruptcy by spending as much as they could and as fast as they could. Even went around town to all of the quickie loan joints. Court voided every debt. ================= When you say "voided' do you mean the court did, or did not, allow these people to discharge the debts?

What you have described is against the BK rules and courts usually do not allow such abuses.

The fact is the vast majority of BK's-80% last I checked- were the result of job loss or medical bills, not abuses.

Surfpuppy, I see you've made 4531 posts to the Reader. I hope you're not billing your clients for that time, or perhaps business is not as good as it should be. 4531 posts.....you should write a novel and at least get paid for it.

Plus 1,331 as JohnnyVegas, for a total of 5,862.

When it comes to all this redevelopment talk, I am lost. I just feel that taxpayers should not be supporting fat cats.

In a true capitalist and democratic society, shouldn’t the development be “market driven.” That is if it makes sense for something to be built then the promoter can launch an effort to do so. Draft a business plan and recruit investors. In fact that is how most business is actually done in America (and elsewhere).

But it seems certain people are above the rules. The Moore’s, McMillan’s, and Spanos’s of the world. They don’t want to have OPM at risk, they want the taxpayers to pay for it and often times without any public input or vote.

It’s one thing for the government to invest in development for the purpose of government. It builds schools, administrative offices and other projects that are within the realm of public services. But it’s completely another to build stadiums and arenas that are for the sole use of private enterprise. Padre’s and Chargers are private entertainment franchises. They are no different than Ikea or Costco.

Should we pay for Costco or Ikea’s buildings? No. And we should not pay for any other privately owned businesses capital needs. Just because they call themselves the “San Diego” this-or-that doesn’t mean they are part of the government or entitled to taxpayer support.

If building a stadium is such a “good deal” let the businesspeople build it just like any other business. All the talk about bringing jobs and more tax revenue has been proven to be a fallacy over and over again. Much like the talk of “Super Bowls” being such a revenue engine for the city. It’s a one day party that might have people staying three days to a week, once every 7 to 10 years. There is no written guarantee of anything. What kind of businesspeople enter into relationships where there are no written guarantees? Stupid ones I say. We have seen plenty of “stupid” in deals with the Charger’s just looking at the Susan Golding era.

You have it pegged perfectly, Ponzi. People lament the state of the schools. But schools suffer every time that redevelopment funds go into a private sector building -- stadium, ballpark, shopping mall, hotel, etc. -- that should be financed with private capital. And then the moguls who get the public to pay for buildings that should be financed with private capital go around boasting that they believe in free enterprise. They shout that business should be able to run without government interference -- that is, until they want a fat subsidy from the government, or they want a bailout. Best, Don Bauder

" Much like the talk of “Super Bowls” being such a revenue engine for the city. It’s a one day party that might have people staying three days to a week, once every 7 to 10 years." And then the NFL a.k.a.No Free Lunch, "threatens" the owners (voters) with the loss of ANY future bonanzas (haha), unless a new stadium is built. In many circles, this is known as extortion.

Today's U-T has a piece in the business section about Pete Wilson's opposition to curbing redevelopment districts. He's shown talking to (guess who?) Bahnee D at a luncheon. I thought that he was a good mayor, but I also thought that he put entirely too much time, energy and political capital into rejeuvenating downtown. It took years to finally entice the odious "Dirty Ernie" Hahn to build Horton Plaza. And putting that shopping mall in the middle of the area didn't really do a lot for downtown. Even in its heyday, on weekends the stores within a block or two of the center were closed. Horton Plaza was and is an island of activity in a sea of office buildings.

The center was, of course, a redevelopment project, and was hailed as a great success. That it failed to make downtown a retail mecca and a real center of the city was seldom noted. But even in his twilight years, Pete still clings to the notion that such projects are an unmitigated good. How sad.

What's sad is that if you look at the UT throughout the debates on the football stadium rehab, and on the $300 million subsidy of Petco Park, the newspaper was forever citing Horton Plaza as a great redevelopment success. It was no such thing, as the store turnover proved graphically. The current owner is tearing down the old Robinson's building that now houses Sam Goody. Why is it being turned down? Because it has so much vacant space. Best, Don Bauder

With regards to redevelopment, the concept of “Sacramento black hole” is a fantasy. Redevelopment enthusiasts like to repeat the “keeping the money local” mantra as a reason for creating redevelopment project areas. The Voice of San Diego has two good articles about how public education, primarily local schools, is the big loser with redevelopment: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/government/thehall/article_ef41d1d8-2847-11e0-8d71-001cc4c03286.html and http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/opinion/slop/article_74519990-2838-11e0-a64b-001cc4c002e0.html . Sacramento loses, because the state has to backfill the schools’ loss. You may contact Governor Jerry Brown by mail at: Governor Jerry Brown c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-2841 E-mail: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php Tell him you agree with the abolition of redevelopment. This will stop your tax dollars from going into the downtown black hole. www.GrantvilleActionGroup.com

Yes, the state has to backfill the money stolen from educatio, and now the state does not have the money. I am glad that the Voice is doing articles on this. The Reader has felt awfully lonely railing on this topic for a long time. Best, Don Bauder

THANK YOU DON!!!! I have been waiting forever for someone to do a piece on the redevelopment scam. It is the root of so many problems. Pleas read my blog on Toni Atkins the State Assembly Majority WHIP and how she was working consulting w/ her wife Jennifer LeSar at LeSar Development Consulting even after she was elected to State Assembly. They were essentially selling their political connections and influence w/ redevelopment agencies to private developers and LeSar continues to do this.

We need to know exactly how rich Toni and LeSar have become of redevelopment dollars. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/ive-got-issues/2011/jan/27/why-is-toni-atkins-still-working-as-a-lobbyist-for/

Yes, that relationship is one that should have been investigated long ago. It has been mentioned in the media. I believe I had it in the Reader some time ago, but I can't remember for sure. Best, Don Bauder

My concern is that everytime I turn around Atkins is at an even higher position. She was just elected Majority WHIP! How did this criminal pull that off and why is no one speaking up? Atkins should be in prison not leading the House Majority.

If all the politicians who belonged in prison WERE in prison the chambers would be well nigh empty. Best, Don Bauder

This is an excellent example of what we are getting w/ these millions of tax dollars. Keep in mind the photos look much better than the actual project. http://www.theboulevard.org/Projects.htm

These projects are garbage and they are lying in their reports when they say what the projects will look like and the quality of construction they will give us. They always "value engineer" out all the perks and we end up w/ these awful stucco monstrosities that belong in Temecula.

They also lie about the buildings they are tearing down. The most recent project on the list "the Boulevard"....the developer report NEVER acknowledges there are potential historic buildings on site even though the site contains 1 of only 2 salt box buildings in SD and a the clay tile 7 up bottling factory along w/ a couple original craftsman homes.

The project was passed on fraudulant info as most of these projects are and the city continues to extend this permit from 2005 when they know this info was fraud.

Fraud is the name of the redevelopment game. Best, Don Bauder

It should be very interesting to see what becomes of the ReDev. vote!

As mentioned above Atkins and also now State Senator Kehoe were both SUPER PRO ReDev SD Councilmembers so I see them talking about it but not changing much if anything... + It is sad to me that the smaller ReDev. Project Areas (like North Park) are now getting the heat from Sanders/CCDC's "Guacamole Bowl" Stadium deal and may very well not be able to continue to help the residents of those areas...

Link to the ReDev. Agency's Annual Reports: http://www.sandiego.gov/redevelopment-agency/pdf/fy2010rdaannualrpt.pdf

Downtown hogs the redevelopment projects, thus stealing from the neighborhoods and, of course, stealing from the schools. Best, Don Bauder

Actually they "gave away" some of their "Low & Low Mod" money to other ReDev. Project Agency's so that they did not have to spend their 20% set aside "Low & Low Mod" money on housing inside CCDC...

This transfer of money from one ReDev. Area to other ReDev. Area, is one of my main frustrations AFTER using the money for projects like the Guacamole Bowl Stadium...

This transfers the much needed "Low & Low Mod" housing to other locations and tends to pack "Low & Low Mod" housing along transportation corridors which are also known as linear ghettos by the folks that are "slammed" by these often large Dense Projects. NTC is another Project Area that is not building "Low & Low Mod" housing inside its area (yet) and is giving away its "Low & Low Mod" money to other Projects Areas in a blatant attempt to reduce or eliminate "Low & Low Mod" housing within it's borders...

In my opinion, these actions, as you explain them accurately, are a violation of both the letter AND the spirit of redevelopent law. Best, Don Bauder

Since this "shifting" of ReDev. money is legal, I'm sure that is not a violation But I agree that it is a "Loophole" that allows the elimination and or shifting of "Low & Low Mod" housing within its own borders, which changes the demographic and the "feel" of the neighborhood.

Liberty Station is now very up scale and has little to do with the NTC Project Area that many had envisioned years ago...

Here is more info: http://www.sandiego.gov/redevelopment-agency/pdf/faqredevelopment.pdf

Then why aren't the relevant jurisdictions prosecuting?

These are usually challenged in civil suits. For example, a county that is deprived of funds because of a redevelopment scam might protest in court. There are two suits against the hush-hush, late-night caper to extend CCDC's borrowing power so an insolvent city can subsidize to the tune of $600 million the billionaire family owning the Chargers. Best, Don Bauder

The State Controller is looking for evidence of redevelopment fraud. I received this from the GAG (www.GrantvilleActionGroup.com) e-mail list:

Steve Mar of the State Controllers Office wants evidence of Redevelopment fraud and abuse type stuff. They are looking at 14 state redevelopment agencies - closest here Coronado's. If you have specific documentation of same, please get it to him at [email protected] or 916 324-7226. He sez they may refer criminal data for investigation.

Criminal cases against officials who abuse redevelopment laws would be welcome indeed. And long overdue. Yes, Coronado -- where housing prices are among the highest in the county -- is considered blighted. Best, Don Bauder

There is a meeting on Jan 31 2011 of the "first ever Ad Hoc Committee on Redevelopment" chaired by Gloria. He and his possee " will spend the next year or so studying how to make redevelopment work better..."...if redevelopment still exists legally. Guess that's what the "year or so" means.

You can read his announcement of this glorious new body politic yourself: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150098947139601&id=6430579238

Here is the IBA's Jan 26 2011 report on restructuring RDA: http://www.sandiego.gov/iba/pdf/11_04.pdf

The way to make redevelopment better is to close the agencies. And send the malefactors to prison. Best, Don Bauder

Redevelopment can be made better real fast by requiring that all the money go to infrastructure improvements for at least two years or until such time as a better definition of BLIGHT is adopted!

I suggest much more than two years. And a very tight definition of blight. I also suggest criminal penalties for the malefactors. The Brown administration is looking into such penalties. Best, Don Bauder

Agree. Gloria led the way on the anti-Walmart thing, so maybe his pro-Redevelopment thing will go south too. He could be cursed! (And not just by me.)

He is already cursed in two senses of the word. Best, Don Bauder

In another year or so, the issue will be studied and that info will then have to be studied, until all the important folks are out of Office...

Out of office and hopefully in prison. Best, Don Bauder

Are you aware of the "mini" mall being foisted upon the mayor's neighborhood (Kensington), a SunRoad development that is getting the natives in an uproar over things like traffic and loading up the neighborhood with cars because SunRoad has done a deal, including a reduction of 40 parking spaces in exchange for "low-cost" "housing" units?

I'm not aware of this. Sunroad again? Sunroad and Jerry Sanders cooking up another scheme? Stop the world. I want to get off. Best, Don Bauder

Public servants need protection from prosecution for acts in the persecution of their DUTIES, but when they stray from their semper fi (not to the system, but to the PEOPLE, Goddamnit!) fiduciary function they should have compound criminal penalties for breach of the public trust. That which is criminal should be illegal, but they should be protected from innocent mistakes, even stupidity. We don't want them ALL in jail; we need somebody to fill the potholes! But believe me, when the top is this corrupt, the honest ones, the boy scouts and girl scouts are long gone!

Did you see the Redevelopment Committee meeting today? Ch 24. ASS-tound-ing! I laughed all the way through the reading of the independent review, p'd all over myself, s__t my pants, and pewk'd my guts out!

If they make too many innocent mistakes, or are stupid, they should either be voted out of office (in the case of an elected official) or fired (in the case of a bureaucrat.) You put your finger on San Diego's problem: the corruption is at the top, and works its way down, rather than the other way around. It's called trickle-down crookedness. Best, Don Bauder

"Boy Scout" and "Girl Scout" are both DEROGATORY appellations for bureaucrats who are naive enough to think that their duty is to the public trust. They are "iced" {given useless work), abused in various ways, and finally driven out, leaving only the cooperative ones who will lackey their ways to retirement.

...and a very remunerative retirement. Best, Don Bauder

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