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Sweetwater, Southwestern College, City Of San Diego Among ‘Golden Fleece’ Finalists

Nine public agencies -- including the city of San Diego twice -- were named today as finalists for the San Diego County Taxpayers Association Golden Fleece Awards.

The SDCTA will hold its annual awards dinner next week to honor the best and worst of public financial practices. The government watchdog organization also honors members of the media who expose wrongdoing in government.

Finalists for Regional Golden Fleece "awards'' are:

-- the San Diego Unified School District, for its Early Childhood Education Program and a study claiming its Project Stabilization Agreement for construction contracts was saving money;

-- the Otay Water District, for increasing health benefits for retired employees;

-- the Southwestern Community College District, for contract woes with a major construction project; and

-- the Sweetwater Union High School District, for mismanagement that cost its cafeteria department $500,000.

Those up for Metro Golden Fleece are:

-- the city of San Diego, for its Qualcomm Stadium security contract;

-- the city of San Diego, for problems with its public utilities billing system;

-- the city of Escondido, for approving raises for management employees; and

-- the city of Oceanside, for a proposal to outsource library services.

The SDCTA also named two finalists for a repeat offender award:

-- the San Diego Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies, which collects part of vehicle registration fees to maintain roadside call boxes

despite having far more money than the program needs; and

-- the Tri-City Hospital District for persistent legal issues.

Finalists for its companion awards honoring good public financial practices were announced previously.

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