Aguirre responds on 'restoring credibility'

Regarding “Restoring credibility/Mayor's reform plan key to city's recovery” (Editorial, Aug. 25):

Restoring credibility is what all San Diegans want. That is why I am urging a vigorous public debate over the remediation recommendations contained in the $20.3 million Kroll report, which the mayor wants to quickly adopt as his “reform plan,” without adequate legal or financial analysis, or wide-spread public discussion. Instead of the Union-Tribune embracing its necessary role as a watchdog, you endorse the Kroll report/mayor's reform plan and call for its rapid adoption by the City Council, scheduled for Sept. 6.

Furthermore, the mayor's reform plan to blindly adopt all of the Kroll report's recommendations would not reduce the size of government, but would significantly expand it, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

I support over 85 percent of the recommendations contained in the Kroll report. However, several of the proposals do not lend themselves to reform. First, the question of whether certain members of the council violated the law must be addressed. The Kroll report conveniently sidestepped this issue. Second, I believe the best way to get a truly independent city auditor is by a vote of the citizenry, not appointment by the council as recommended in the report. Third, when the city has an independent auditor, it will not need an audit committee or an outside monitor as recommended in the report. Our goal should be to get our system functional, not to create another layer of private consultants who will continue to charge us millions of dollars a year for useless reports.

The U-T attacks the city attorney for doing his job, which is to act as a check on the mayor and council, as in the wholesale adoption of the Kroll report/mayor's reform plan. So, anyone who wants a robust public debate is cast as an obstructionist.

MICHAEL AGUIRRE
San Diego City Attorney