Demaio: City wasted $130M last year

ElectionsPoliticsRepublican PartyBob FilnerNathan Fletcher

SAN DIEGO -- The city of San Diego wasted about $130 million last year that could have been put to good use, mayoral candidate and City Councilman Carl DeMaio said Tuesday, while the mayor's office dismissed his claims as an election-year stunt.

DeMaio said the city squandered $26 million on overtime pay, which wouldn't be needed with better staffing procedures, and paid out about $24 million through a deferred retirement program -- something he wants to eliminate.

He said those examples were among dozens.

"Every dollar that is wasted is a dollar less that could be put into neighborhood services, like library hours or graffiti removal,'' DeMaio said. "Every dollar wasted is less money for road repairs.''

For every 2.2 employees, there is a city vehicle -- about 4,000 total, he said. Eighteen of those vehicles were never used in 2011, and 113 logged less than 1,000 miles.

About $800,000 has been set aside for employee leave time, representing about 16 hours per employee, he said.

DeMaio said there was no reason for the city to have two personnel departments.

He said the city's procurement process could be improved, and that unless a competitive bidding program for certain municipal functions was sped up, the city would continue to lose money.

In some cases, the county duplicates some of the same services provided by the city, DeMaio said.

Darren Pudgil of the mayor's office said DeMaio's assertions were misleading.

"Once again, Carl DeMaio is trying to get himself elected mayor by making wild-eyed exaggerations and assuming the public is too gullible to see through his act,'' Pudgil said.

He said the councilman used old data, and some of the problems he listed have already been dealt with.

DeMaio faces District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher -- an independent who recently left the Republican Party -- in the June 5 primary election.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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