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Who Is Carl DeMaio Trying To Appeal To?


Councilman Carl DeMaio has already announced his plans to run for mayor in 2012, but who will support him? The polarizing politician has few allies in city government after taking on some of the city's most powerful entities. We discuss DeMaio's disagreement with the mayor over eliminating free trash pickup, and his efforts to switch all city employees to a 401 (k)-style retirement plan.

Councilman Carl DeMaio has already announced his plans to run for mayor in 2012, but who will support him? The polarizing politician has few allies in city government after taking on some of the city's most powerful entities. We discuss DeMaio's disagreement with the mayor over eliminating free trash pickup, and his efforts to switch all city employees to a 401 (k)-style retirement plan.


Bob Kittle, director of News Planning and Content for KUSI

Scott Lewis, chief executive officer of

Dennis Morgigno, director of original programming for Channel 4 San Diego

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This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

GLORIA PENNER: Okay. Gentlemen, we're gonna move onto our final segment, last December is part of his cost cutting dedication. Mayor Jerry Sanders unleashed a plan to cut [CHECK] has been a San Diego perk for decades, and of course there were some negative reactions, so bob, one strong critical voice was from councilman Carl DeMaio, a long supporter of cutting costs. [CHECK].

KITTLE: Part of his objection is that many of the 14,200 residents that would be cut off are in his district. That's point number one. But just try to give you the history of this. Trash collection is not free, you still pay for is it, but you pay for it out of other taxes rather than a dedicated trash fee that you pay. So the reason this we have this is that in 1919, the city [CHECK] hog farmers, and so they passed a law, and it became part of the charter, to prohibit trash -- monthly trash fees. So that's where the situation stands. And so what the mayor has found that there are 14,200 households that have trash pick-up today, that live on private streets, in condo associations or otherwise on private streets, and the ordinance that the voters passed in 1919 does not require to those people get [CHECK] haulers to collect their trash.

GLORIA PENNER: Are they complaining?

KITTLE: Oh, yes they are complaining the .

PENNER: But it's interesting, you just heard from Joseph who said you'd be willing to pay trash fees.

KITTLE: That'd be folks in Rancho Bernardo who will tell you that they live on fixed incomes, etc., and are not -- don't share -- they don't want to give up 40 dollars a months for something they feel they have been -- in many cases issue they have been receiving this for decades and they don't want to give that up.

MORGIGNO: This is a matter of equity, though, half of the city does pay I dedicated fee for its trash. People who [CHECK] citizens have been promised free trash pick-up or not having to pay a dedicated no, and so that's the reason why we can't ask these residents for a fee, is not true. This entire group of people do pay that. Just that they're not as politically powerful or what not doesn't mean that trash is free for everyone in the city right now. And so I think that this is it a matter of equity. You could even -- you know, Councilman DeMaio's objection to it is based on the idea that he doesn't want to give the city more revenue without reform occurring first. And my argument to that would be, this is a matter of equity, is go ahead and -- you don't even have to raise the revenue. As professor [CHECK] the bulk of which issue being paid by the multifamily units right now. And I think this that's an issue at hundred. We can't just think of this as a revenue, taxes, what not, this is a matter of universal equity among the citizens of San Diego. Let's hear from what Roberta has to day from San Diego about that. [CHECK].

NEW SPEAKER: Hi, thank you for taking my call. [CHECK] hey, I think people should pay for their own trash pick-up, you know, a fee for trash, it shouldn't be part of property taxes, and I riff nay condo, and of course my condo association pays for my trash pick-up, and he feel my property tacks are subsidizing people who can have nice homes.

MORGIGNO: There you go.

NEW SPEAKER: And yoke that's fair.

DEFENDANT: It's not.

GLORIA PENNER: And did you want to comment on that, please Dennis?

MORGIGNO: Well, I think she's absolutely correct. [CHECK] free trash pick-up, I mean, people need to pay attention. It's not free in half of the city.

PENNER: Can the mayor unilaterally stop the service to residential development, Scott?

LEWIS: It's an interpretation they've made this these are private streets, and this far liability issues have made it, and then as Bob's definition of the People's ordinance, that this is something that they could change. So again, it's a small portion of the house, there was also an idea that the city attorney floated that the city account actually just simply stop trash pick-up to you will of these other places, you know, and let them pick it up flew an outsourcing service, and just the city get out of business are if people who don't want to pay a dedicated fee for trash pick-up. And he deemed that legal. Of course there's not even the political will to even consider it.

GLORIA PENNER: Just briefly, please.

MORGIGNO: And there's the other proposal to privatize the entire thing in which case everyone would have to pay for it.

PENNER: This is true. Let's talk a little about the about Carl DeMaio, 'cause we're seeing and hearing more about him. He often appears on KUSI, Bob, and he's on channel six a lot, and he's putting out press releases by the ton. Does this signal some kind of a campaign strategy to engage the public rather than the movers and shakers? Because he's certainly frosting all the of them?

KITTLE: Well, is it he asking like a politician, I think is your question. He's the only [CHECK] so of course he quiet it's -- he seeks out publicity, he pushes out ideas. He seems to seek almost confrontations with the mayor. He rushed out -- although, there were other council members whose districts would be affected by this elimination 67 trash pick-up, it was Carl who, you know, took the lead, and yes, he's acting just like a politician who wants the mayor.

PENNER: But if he loses, tennis, the accident community, and the unions, where will his campaign support develop?

MORGIGNO: Well, that's an excellent question, because I think we have seen in the past couple of decades that you don't win elect without one of those two groups.

GLORIA PENNER: Both he and Kevin Faulkner are names on the potential fir's list. [CHECK].

LEWIS: Carl DeMaio has decided that the way to change the city, and perhaps 47 himself is to frame the debate at every opportunity, which means to propose things and ideas and changes that gets people arguing about them. I mean, if you're a salesman trying to get somebody to buy a fridge, if you get them to argue about what color fridge they're going to get, they've already bought the fridge. And I think that's the same concept here. [CHECK] or whether just bureaucrats should be part of a new 401K, but that means that somebody hey gonna part of a new 401K. So I think that these decisions and discussions are actually quite smart. [CHECK] the regional economic development corporation, now he's attacking police and fire directory, and their interests of the you upon, the arts community, the list of people he's decided aren't needed for him to become mayor is growing. And the haft person to run the campaign like this was Mike Aguirre who won in 2004, but after receiving some of the support from these parts of groups -- now, the question is, is his power so good and is he so attractive as a candidate that he can do it.

GLORIA PENNER: My director tells me we only have seconds left. I want to give bob and deb essay chance. Final comment on all of this.

KITTLE: [CHECK] many of them very sound ideas and he's somewhat of a zealot when it comes to the pension problem. And [CHECK].

MORGIGNO: I just think it's great to engage the citizens of San Diego on this debate, and I think that's a great benefit of Carl's bombastic nature.

GLORIA PENNER: Okay. Thank you very much, Dennis Morgigno, first time. We thank you, Scott Lewis, and Bob Kittle, we thank you, all our listeners and our callers. This has been the Editors Roundtable. I'm Gloria Penner.

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