What’s with the San Diego City Council lately? First Council President Scott Peters shows leadership in saying San Diegans may have to pony up more revenues if they’d prefer not to have their houses burn up in the next fire. Then the Council votes to flush Jerry Sander’s veto of the water reclamation proposal down the political toilet?

I don’t know what they’ve started putting in the water at 202 C Street (maybe some of that reclamated stuff—and I know “reclamated” isn’t really a word but doesn’t sound like it should be? ) but keep spiking their aqua with it, by all means.

Apparently Sanders skipped his waterboarding by the Council by “going to the movies” according to his spokesman. I do hope he was watching a retrospective of Lawrence of Arabia or Dune. Maybe that would have helped remind him that San Diego is an arid, semi-desert environment in which water isn’t all that copious a commodity.

The Mayor says there are other, more cost effective ways to satisfy San Diego’s thirst. Like what–shipping water here from Fiji in little bottles made of oil from Saudi Arabia so we can biologically transship said water into the sewer system and flush it back out to sea? Where it will eventually evaporate into the atmosphere, come down as rain in Fiji, refill the aquifers there to be rebottled and reshipped in our circle of life? Or depending upon waters from Nor Cal and Colorado when more and more people are sticking bigger and bigger straws into it?

It’s time to start thinking outside of the imported water bottle, your Honorness, and face facts. New technologies such as reclamation need be tried and embraced before water bills in San Diego, already soaring to record highs, start to surpass the gasoline and electric prices San Diegans are already being gouged by. It’s time for you to now faithfully follow the Council’s mandate and not bureaucratically bury this initiative out of misplaced obstinance.

And for all you who “dis” reclamation with the pejorative “Toilet to Tap” label, as I wrote back in September, shaddup already. You obviously don’t have a clue where that “fresh” water from your tap has already been before it ever reached your gullet.

I said after the great fires that Sanders came through it all smelling like a political rose. In retrospect, me thinks me was too hasty. Given the Feinstein roadshow’s scathing critique of San Diego’s failure to fully prepare for the next big fire last week, the post-backslapping on a job well done by Jerry and his boyz now seems premature. Kind of Jerry’s “Doin’ a heck of a job, Brownie” moment.”

The bottom line: Jerry has not delivered on pretty much any of his big campaign pledges. He didn’t raise taxes but he certainly raised water rates. He hasn’t outsourced nor downsized any of municipal government of note – perhaps because most of it, by nature of what it does, cannot be profitably outsourced nor meaningfully downsized. Not, at least, if you want to deliver first world, finest city sorts of services to city’s residents. The San Diego’s fiscal house is still not in order and the bonds markets continue to turn their financial noses up and preclude the city from reentering the bonds markets. Sanders’ much hyped dream team as decamped for greener pastures. Meanwhile the state-wide budget crisis, precipitated by the housing bubble bursting and the resulting credit crunch and about to be made worse by possible recession (Gee, haven’t the Bush years been a gas?!!!) don’t foretell an easy ride for the next four years. That Jerry, who couldn’t make things work in two years of relatively good times, can do the job in the coming years of fiscal famine, is far from certain.

So, Jerry. That reelection thing next year? Just a heads up. I don’t think it’s in Santa’s bag for you just yet, afterall.


One Response to “Waterboarded”

  1. mlaiuppa Says:

    We need to hit our water problem on four fronts.
    1. Conserve.
    2. Recycle(reclaim)
    3. New sources I.E. Desalination
    4. Limit Growth.

    I know that last one is heresy in San Diego.

    I recycle. I’ve got PhotoVoltaic on my roof. My water heater is now tankless. I’ve got compact fluorescents and a programmable thermostat. I’ve got drip irrigation and timers and all sorts of stuff. But I can only do so much.

    I’m trying to buy only local now but it’s difficult. I’m looking into composting. And a flower bed is going to become a dedicated vegetable garden.

    While every person helps, San Diego needs something on an organized and huge scale.

    I don’t see that kind of leadership on “C” St.

    That doesn’t mean Jerry isn’t going to get re-elected.

    The memory of the public is very alzheimeresque. Witness: Imus is back on the air.

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