Whoops… Voice of San Diego Picks Up Emerald’s Stonewalling

Mr. Murphy Mr. Murphy 5 Comments

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Correction to my last post: looks like the Voice of San Diego picked up Marti’s Mysterious Advisory Council. So this reporter from the Voice calls over to the Emerald office with the simple request that Marti reveal the names and what answer does the reporter get: that Emerald’s office is consulting the City Attorney and won’t answer the question! Nah… nothing wrong here… council offices routinely consult the City Attorney before answering the most basic questions about the contents of their own press releases.

WHO IS ON EMERALD’S ADVISORY COUNCIL?

Last post for the day from The People’s Reporter: A couple readers e-mailed me this morning about an unusual reference by Councilwoman Marti Emerald on Monday to her “Citizens Advisory Council.”

None of the readers who contacted me — people who are generally involved with local politics — remember Emerald having such a group of citizens to help her make policy decisions in the past. In a statement Monday, Emerald said the group of 20 citizens “overwhelmingly” supported plans for a new downtown library and City Hall. The group meets with Emerald on a quarterly basis.

“Participants comprise a diverse cross-section of the district and serve as an additional set of eyes and ears in the neighborhoods of District-7,” Emerald said in the statement.

A few questions from readers (and me): Who are these citizens? Who do they represent? Why do they deserve more access and influence to Emerald than any other citizen? What are their interests?

I called Emerald’s office before noon and explained that I was working on a People’s Reporterassignment. I also sent an e-mail asking about the Citizens Advisory Council to Geni Cavitt, the councilwoman’s director of communications.

Later in the day, an Emerald staffer said city attorneys were reviewing my request. My messages have not been returned since.

We will continue to follow this assignment until we get some better answers.

— KEEGAN KYLE

Thursday, October 15, 2009 8:22 PM PDT

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Comments 5

  1. Rumor on the floor is Emerald and her staff took this to city attorney because they do NOT want to release the names.

    This begs the question – why?

    The general opinion up here is that they do not want to release the names because they are all Emerald campaign supporters.

    If this is the case, as most people I talk to think is the case, this is going to be a story, and is going to get worse.

    I can see the headline now “Emerald Community Advisory Group Are All Campaign Donors”

  2. Just heard it again half an hour ago readers – and you heard it here from me first: the word here on the Council Floor is that, in fact, the Advisory Council she put together is almost all campaign donors, if not all.

    Further, one argument they are mulling over is whether they can sell that they are ‘protecting the privacy’ of the group by not revealing the names!

    Hint: as soon as the business community latches on to this Marti (and they already have) there will be a request for public information down here so fast your head will spin. And since you used city stationary for the release, you can’t argue this is campaign or any kind of nonsense. You did take notes at the meeting you guys said you had over the weekend, right?

  3. Great investigation.

    Why not just call up the Mayor’s office and find out who their representative was, and who was at the meeting?

    Don

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