Alvarez: No Access to Information

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Yesterday, Voice of San Diego’s Liam Dillon covered a very interesting Q&A with San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez, who represents the city’s South Bay neighborhoods.

During the Q&A, Alvarez, a Democrat, spoke about being on the opposing/wrong side of a couple of issues. Not because of money or influence, but because of his personal experiences growing up in some of San Diego’s more impoverished neighborhoods. What struck me as the most egregious though, were the repercussions of those votes by both the Mayor and other councilmembers.

“Whether it’s not getting briefings, or not getting access to staff, it’s something that happens and we’ve got documentation to prove that if we had to,” Alvarez said in the Q&A.

The problem I have here, as a good government conservative, is irrespective of Councilman Alvarez’s votes. Though I may disagree more often than not, the problem is denying access to information to an elected official, his staff, and therefore his constituents. Not exactly the “open, transparent” government that some of the councilmembers from both parties championed during their campaigns.

I don’t enjoy wasting time on hypothetical “what-if” situations, but should a crisis situation arise where Councilman Alvarez would need to address and respond to, the lack of access and information could prove detrimental to the job he was elected to do.

Granted, he’s a Democrat and I’m sure many Republicans probably wouldn’t care if Alvarez failed at his job or not — circumstances, not withstanding since we wouldn’t win District 8 anyway — but, what this really comes down to is simply, political pettiness.

I would encourage the Mayor, and other councilmembers, to review this situation and rectify it as soon as possible. It’s Christmas. Give the gift of open government this year, and allow Councilman Alvarez and his staff access to information.

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