Monday, July 6, 2009

Transparency for Everyone Else

According to yesterday's SDUT, San Diego City Councilmembers have a slush fund similar to the County Supervisors. Called “infrastructure improvement funds,” these monies are leftovers in the budget from years past that they can spend as they wish.

Lani Lutar, president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, said there ought to be more disclosure on how and why the reserves are being spent. She says she believes allocations from the reserve accounts should be part of council agendas.

“Certainly that would be important to do for the purposes of transparency and accountability,” she said.

Faulconer disagrees.

“I don't think the full council wants to spend time deciding how to spend minimal amounts of money on narrowly defined one-time expenses,” he said.

He opposes rolling back the reserve funds into the general fund.

“These leftover funds give us an opportunity to quickly address needs in the communities we represent – needs that otherwise would be ignored or stuck in a holding pattern,” he said.

A few points:
- The article begins with Carl DeMaio planning to donate $25,000 to help build the Rancho Bernardo history museum. For a guy who spends more time in District 3 than his own, a token monetary effort is better than nothing when it comes to representation.

- The 40 watt bulb that is Faulconer defends the status quo by calling these funds, which are lifelines for some, minimal which might be true were they dolled out in the hundreds and not the thousands.

- It’s not everyday that the SDCTA comes off better than Frye on the issue of transparency, especially since she has the most cash at her disposal. Then again, what better way to promote her COS as a candidate than by cleaning up her district seeing how he’s going to run on her record. I’m not against making the city livable, but I wish the counclmembers would do so in a manner that wasn’t so blatantly political.

- Ditto for Ben. The 8th could use Ben’s allocation, Frye’s and then some. Felipe has his work cut out for him and any improvements his brother could make would be positive in one of the most abused district in the city.

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