Eye on the Coast

Blanket auto allowance may be OK after all

Taking a second look
Recently seated San Diego City Attny. Jan Goldsmith created a ripple throughout the county during his campaign when he stated it was illegal for council electeds or others to receive a blanket stipend every month as auto allowance. Now he sez it might be OK after all and he will study the issue. The outcome of his opinion could have countywide significance where a flat auto allowance is paid by some city governments.
Year’s top priorities
According to a piece in the Wall Street Journal, 100 CEOs of large companies compiled a list of the top priorities facing the country. These (in order) are fiscal stimulus, educated work force, economic vision, comprehensive energy and environmental policy and a tax policy that encourages employment, job creation and investment and enhances global competitiveness in the short term, and to consider raising taxes on gas and broadening the corporate tax base to lower rates. Indeed these are lofty but attainable goals!
Charmin Biffies
Those glamorous potties developed by Charmin paper co. created a major stir when they were set up in New York’s Times Square. Nothing new to the local attendees of the County Fair where they have been in service for a coppla years. Yes, they are elaborate. At Times Square they are equipped with a flat TV screen and attendants wear tuxedos. Charmin folks say they make users feel like they are sitting on a royal throne so why would anybody want to go anywhere else?
Recreation program fees?
C’bad has retained an outfit to study the Recreation Department’s services, particularly the freebies. Council electeds will go from there when they receive a report.
All aboard for Tucker
North County Transit District has hired Matthew W. Tucker of Virginia to succeed Karen King as executive director. She resigned last June to accept a post in Bakersfield. Former C’bad City Manager Ray Patchett has been sitting in as interim director. No newcomer, Tucker has held transit posts in the Golden State previously.
Park development stymied
Not unexpected, the development of the Hall property in Cardiff-by-the-Sea into the Flower Capital’s largest park is facing a court suit. Citizens For Quality of Life have filed a law suit in Superior Court after council electeds voted 3-2 to ignore the Planning Commission’s recommendation that the park plan be modified. Mayor Maggie Houlihan and Councilwoman Teresa Barth sided with the planning commissioners. The suit could delay development of the park for at least another coppla years.
Powerlink receives boost
Cal Public Utilities Commission Prexy Michael Peevey believes the highly controversial Sunrise Powerlink project that is projected to run through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park will be a valuable link for achieving renewable-energy goals. However, the beef is about the line going through the park and not about its worth.
No money for students …
Tuition fees at state colleges may be escalating and the number of students that will be allowed to enroll may be restricted because of the budget crisis but there seems to be enough moola in the till for some high level administrators to receive pay increases of up to 19 percent. Their pay envelopes and perks currently are by no means sub-standard. Nine of the system’s 109 vice presidents are due the obscene pay increases while student enrollment is capped at 450,000.
Fire merger advances
A half-dozen volunteer fire departments will come under the jurisdiction of the Board of Supes when the new fiscal year kicks off in June. These include Ranchita, Ocotillo Wells, Intermountain, Sheller Valley, De Luz and Sunshine Summit, all in the East County. Not part of the merger are Deer Springs, Ramona and Valley Center.
Free parking days
Enlisting a more liberal policy on street parking during the holidays, Surfside City electeds have established seven free parking days in the business area. The meter maids and masters enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with their families and on Nov. 29 and Dec.6. And they won’t be marking tires on Dec. 13, Dec. 20, Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Del Mar Village Association trumpeted the policy. For several years the Surfside City has had the distinction of being the only parking grinch in the whole county.
Vista’s green home
Contractors Janette and Dave Kimmel have completed making their 4,700-square-foot manse as green as possible under current conditions. The greening ranges from low-voltage light bulbs to energy powered by photovoltaic solar panels mounted on trellises. Even a decorative pond with fish and plants is filtered biologically.
Former San Dieguito High School District superintendent Bill Berrier has been appointed to the district’s Personnel Commission that oversees the operation of the merit system of employment for classified personnel … Downey Savings & Loan that operates several branches in the county including in the Flower Capital is now being administered by US Bank of Minneapolis following a takeover by Fed regulators … An 80-foot-high tower at the proposed The Pavilions mall in O’side has drawn the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration becuz it may be in the Palomar Airport flight pattern … Fire rings at Harbor City beaches may be axed as a cost-saving measure if Mayor Jerry Sanders has his way … Cardiff Town Council suggests calling (888) 382-1222 to join the National Do Not Call system and avoid getting those pesky sales pitches that cost money … Congrats to Carinne Amico, La Costa Canyon grad, who has won the Leucadia Wastewater District’s $1,000 scholarship for her essay on recycling.