Mr. Murphy Mr. Murphy 27 Comments


I’m not exactly sure what would get me up in the morning if I didn’t think I’d have another move by Marti Emerald that put her one step closer to resignation (I’ll save the rumors on this for a later post) or recall.

What did I awake to this morning? Half a dozen emails circulating around town which quote Emerald from a KPBS interview supporting new taxes, in direct contradiction to her campaign pledge. To paraphrase: For too long we’ve only focused on one side of the ledger. We must right the financial ship and put these tax initiatives on the ballot…

The best part of the interview, for those of you who care to listen to see if Marti was taken out of context, was Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, who has demonstrated time and time again that she’s much more of a diligent public servant than Emerald, commenting that new taxes are inappropriate since the public doesn’t trust City Hall politicians with the money they already have. Well said Sherri.

NOTE FROM MR. MURPHY: this post has been edited post publication to reflect that the above phrase in BOLD is a paraphrase of what Emerald said, rather than a quote. My error. Please see comments below for specific quotes from Emerald, which I think make it very clear that she supports the same taxes or fees she directly opposed in her campaign for city council.


Comments 27

  1. Here it is in more of a context….

    Emerald: “For so many years, the city has looked at one side of the ledger, to be honest, and that is how much we spend versus how much we bring in. And it gives us about a year and a half now to really create some initiatives, put some issues on the ballot if necessary and start working on the structural change we need in our budget.”

    An argument can certainly be made that the “initiatives” she is referring to may not have to do with taxes, but structural reforms that have nothing to do with taxes.

    She also went on to say…

    Emerald: “And a lot of people have told us what to do and, you know, with regard to – I know it’s the – it gets everybody’s, you know, neck hair up to say the trash fee. We’ve got to look at that. We’ve got to look at storm water fees. We have to look at the fee structure for the services that are provided to specific groups, say, through the fire department or the police department and so forth, Parks & Rec. We’ve got to find ways of making the services we provide cost recoverable.”

    That quote is closer in context than the first in regards to increased taxes. That is, if you believe taxes and fees are one in the same. Which they are.

  2. I saw Marti at the coffee shop today. I guess she’s not working. Shocking.

    I think Murphy is pretty on point, particularly considering these “fees” were EXACTLY what Emerald said over and over were EXACTLY what she WOULDNT support.

    By the way, readers will love this, she’s also floating a library card fee!!!!!!!!

  3. Remember this famous quote from the LA Times?

    “Acerbic or not, Emerald, a former crusading consumer reporter for the ABC affiliate, was elected. Now she’s on the budget committee. Estimates suggest that a mid-range trash fee would raise $37 million to $50 million a year.

    “It’s kind of a no-brainer,” Emerald said. “Ask the average person on the street, and they have no problem with maybe a $10-a-month charge to help cover a $37-million deficit. It’s a couple of lattes.””

  4. Thats right alot of people right here in D7 are furious about this. We are happy to organize. There needs to be some sort of organization here. One of the neighbors talked about some meeting between the heads of the community councils to solve this problem, but I want SOME DIRECT ACTION, NOW.

    Let me know what to do. Let all of us know what to do.

  5. Did anyone else see this from the UT? I think I saw this tweeted from the UT? LOL oh this is rich the UT can’t even gather its own news because they dont have the reporters.

    This being the case of course Marty is at it again. She went to a local group in Grantville (actually her staff member did) and did nothing but recommend new taxes.

  6. SD Rostra’s official walking political encyclopedia, in the form of the one Jim Sills, may have to answer that question, but other than deaths in office (such as Charles Lewis), criminal proceedings (like Ralph Inzunza and Michael Zucchet), the filling of interim vacancies (Phil Blair comes to mind), off the top of my head I can’t think of anyone in several years that hasn’t completed at least two terms due to the electorate. Linda Bernhardt was recalled in 1991, before she could complete one term. I may be missing someone, such as a one-termer that then won higher office. But booted in a re-election? Hmmm. Jim, please jump in.

  7. Re: Furious

    Yes there are people organizing for direct and indirect action, but its been pretty clear that Emerald will ‘punish’ anyone she thinks she is against her so community leaders are having to be quiet about participation and only include people that are known and trusted.

    The best way to be of help now is to form your own unit and keep distributing ‘Emerald’s Greatest Hits’ to your neighbors. Something was stuck in a bunch of doors just last night 😉

    PS I saw Emerald just last week and she smiled and said ‘so happy to see you’!!

  8. I listened to Councilmember’s Emerald’s KPBS interview too the other day. Perhaps, the listener Mr. Murphy heard something different. Actually, I don’t remember her ever promising not to raise any taxes during the campaign. When she did talk about taxes it was to point out that we may indeed have to use a combination of new revenue (i.e. fees for trash collection as an example) along with budget cuts (example: fewer library hours) to balance the City’s budget. She was only stating the obvious. At least she is honest enough to put it out there, even now when she knows it’s not popular. Taxes or fees may be upon us whether we like it or not. It’s just a reality.

    Even Todd Gloria on today’s interview on KPBS said the same things that Marti said earlier this week. Of course, it’s not what we want to hear, but it’s what we need to hear. Sometimes we have to pay for services rendered. I also heard that these issues (such as trash fee) may be put on a ballot for all of us to vote on.

    Perhaps, those of you who blog here could come up with some creative ideas for our own community about how we could save City funds or increase revenues to cover services that we all want to preserve. According to Councilmember Gloria, the council members have been attending meetings in their districts trying to get a feel for what their constituents want and have discovered that many want more and better services, i.e. tree trimming, streets cleaned, streets and lights repaired, etc. They don’t want their services cut. So, how would you suggest we balance the City’s budget…..without raising taxes or fees?

  9. Here are some first thoughts Gwen:

    * cut the money we spend on public art
    * lay off some more of the white collar workers at city hall
    * force pension re-negotiations
    * end the policy of lifetime healthcare
    * lay off half the land use department
    * outsource city services, LIKE WE ALREADY VOTED TO DO
    * reduce council budgets by half

    There – first cut. Also, don’t build a giant city hall, don’t build a useless downtown library for the bums to urinate in. Sell off some of the hundreds of unused city properties.

    Hey, and just a thought, but isn’t Todd Gloria a liberal Democrat? He’s hardly someone I take financial advice from.

    And no, during the campaign, Emerald said over and over that April Boling was lying about Emerald wanting to raise taxes. I got the mail.

  10. The way people sit around here, I think we could get rid of several hundred right here at 202 C Street without noticing any service disruptions!!

    Four firemen on a truck, is that what I hear? And how many days off a week? Are these guys paid salary or by the hour? If by the hour move them and the police to salary.

    Another thing, I’d make a ton of the service jobs private.

  11. “outsource city services, LIKE WE ALREADY VOTED TO DO” – First Thought, above.

    Which, by the way, the council, including Gloria and Emerald, continue to block, thus thumbing their noses at the people.

  12. Interesting suggestions:
    Let’s see: Outsourcing services. Think we’ve tried that already.
    Outsource services like the clean-up after the fires of 2007? How much did the City overpay for that one? How much did it cost the City to go after the company(s) to get our money back?
    Who and how are outsourced services held accountable?
    What would it cost to provide oversite on outsourced services?
    Do you know of any other cities that have successfully used outsourcing and how were they successful?
    How about managed competition for outsourcing?

    So, what services would you be willing to see outsourced? Fire, police, etc.???

    City Hall Honey:
    Too many firemen sitting on a fire engine??? I hope your house doesn’t catch on fire. Honey….you don’t have to put your life on the line SITTING behind a desk. So you say, ” Another thing, I’d make a ton of the service jobs private.”
    Perhaps we could start with your job? Huh?

  13. Dear Gwen,

    It’s not the decision of the council, the mayor, or the labor unions whether to outsource or not. We voted on it.

    Frankly I’ve worked for government so I have first hand experience. What would I outsource? Well, I think I’d start with vehicle repair… I might even go to pothole and road fixing (actually I’m sure I would), park maintenance, janitorial services generally.

    I don’t think public safety should be outsourced. I do think almost all of the backup to public safety could be outsourced. Four officers to an engine? Who knows. Depends what that engine is doing I guess.

    I did notice your sexism when you wrote ‘HONEY’. That’s offensive. Usually people on the left assume it’s ok when they are sexist.. against Palin for instance. Here’s a hint — it really doesn’t come out well to anyone, and makes your point weaker.


  14. “Gwen” isn’t a she its a he. It’s Matt K who should spend less time on this rightwing cesspool and more time doing his job.

  15. #1 “Gwen” is not Matt K, I assure you. Ve haff our vays of knowing. Additionally, Matt not only uses his own name here, but “Gwen” is the same person that posted regularly on Red County using a different name. Since she has stuck with the same “new” name here, not a problem.

    #2 John: Don’t be a dolt. Her use of “Honey” was clearly to address a prior commenter that had chosen the name for him/herself.

  16. Dear John,
    Your statement: “I don’t think public safety should be outsourced”
    is wise. You obviously understand the importance of accountability when lives could be in jeopardy.
    Other suggestions for outsourcing: pothole and road repair, park maintenance, vehicle repair, and janitorial services all sound doable.
    If outsourced, how would you suggest the City get the best deal and not overpay and get quality work? If there are problems in service and the community complains about it, who do they call to remedy the situation?

  17. I honestly had to laugh when I read the last blog by Gwendolyn. I’m sure every reader has had the miserable experience of dealing with the City of San Diego. It’s hardly a secret that the work is shoddy and complaints go into a black hole. Tell you what, if I had to choose between a private DMV (yes I know that is the state) and a public one, on the basis of how I thought service would be, and if my complaints were answered, Id go private any time.

    Here is one way to do it, and something that the city should have anyway: hire outside auditors that deal with complaints and get paid more for finding waste or shoddy work. Every city department should be scoured by these types of people endlessly.

  18. TO the question above – Linda Bernhart was recalled in the 1980s….in large part over disputes surrounding redistricting – which in turn was caught up in the very real and bitter dispute between Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch (if you haven’t seen thatin action go to SR library and propose that Mira Mesa kids that live across the freeway from Scripp Ranch High get to go there and then run for your life). She also had made promises to SD’s development community to have an open mind and then started to side with the no growth advocates. But given the requirements for a recount and the new restrictions on funding it (same rules as the election – $500 minimums and no corporate Money) it would be a hard row to hoe. Could be done but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Better to find a candidate for 2012 and turn her out.

  19. Good background on the Bernhardt details. As Little Thor indicated above, it was 1991, not the 1980s. Although in the 1980s, a couple of folks were forced out of office by criminal proceedings, including a mayor.

    Ok, so here’s the gig: The first person that accurately names the last City of SD councilmember (not mayor) that was voted out of office during a regular primary or general re-election campaign after serving only one four-year (elected) term (how’s that for water-tight?), you will win — uhh, sorry it can’t be something of lesser value — the awe-inspired recognition of your fellow political hacks.

  20. At a time of Need!

    Our Father, who art in heaven,
    Hallowed be thy Name.
    Thy kingdom come.
    Thy will be done,
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    As we forgive those who trespass against us.
    And lead us not into temptation,
    But deliver us from evil.
    [For thine is the kingdom,
    and the power, and the glory,
    for ever and ever.]

  21. You all gave me a good laugh this evening with someone thinking I was this Gwen.

    Please remember it’s Mat or Mathew with just one t.

    Have a good night.

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