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Covering the County

Covering the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is no easy feat. The board meetings often end so rapidly that if you are 20 minutes late they are already over.

If you arrive on time, you are likely to spend 20 minutes sitting through endless proclamations congratulating worthy causes around San Diego.

The business of the day is usually safely decided before the five supervisors take to the dais.


So few members of the public show up to speak on agenda items that decisions often pass on consent...and are never discussed.

Gregory John Duch from Centre City San Diego
April 14, 2008 at 02:09 AM
Dear Alison: I have often thought that covering the Supervisors must be akin to Daniel Schorr, when he reported for CBS, covering the goings-on of the Politburo of the CPSU, in bye-gone days in the defunct Soviet Union. Similar to the San Diego Bd. of Supervisors, the Soviet Politburo was composed of a small ( BUT MORE THAN JUST FIVE!) old, loyal CPSU party hacks, er, functionaries. They met mostly in secret, except to wave from Lenin's Tomb at the May Day festivities in Red Square, and similar public events. The Politburo members generally were members for life. They elected each other, and reapportioned their own bailiwicks--all so similar to our B. of S's. They all belonged to the same party--the CPSU, instead of the GOP. They were the Party's watchdogs on good governance by the puppet government structure -The Supreme Soviet-. The Chairmanship of the Politburo would also rotate similar to the BOS. The Politburo let the Soviet citizens know what new laws and regulations were in effect when the Politburo was good and ready to inform the Soviet media, (Tass, Izvestia, Pravda) just like the Supes do for the U-T. Former Politburo members, who went on to the great worker's paradise in the sky, had statues and other shrines built in their honor, as well. Pete Wilson was never a supe, tho; right? The one difference between the modus operandi of the Soviet Politburo and the San Diego Supes was that there was a larger membership on the Politburo. They also liked to wear fur hats quite often and give each other bear hugs. Haven't seen Supes, Cox, Slater, Jacobs, Horn, Roberts engage in any similar warm comradely displays of affection. But the Supervisors ( all, by the way are WASPS) --no offense--- do tend to think alike, and talk alike, in a way any Soviet Politburo member would be proud to admit. Spaseba Grigori

Gregory J. Duch from Centre City
April 15, 2008 at 10:12 PM
Allison: It is a trivialization and abnegation of the right ot self-government, that five individuals are able to rule over a county of three million people almost as an oligarchy, working for the interest of the monied interests. I have attended "open sessions" of various governmental bodies locally, most memorably SANDAG. Anyone plebeian attempting to comment before government bodies is patronized, ridiculed, or just plain ignored. We look at countries such as Zimbabwe, Russia, Kenya, Haiti as being total perversions of the electoral process. We also are fighting and paying dearly to bestow life, liberty and the pursuit of oil in Iraq for over five years. I advocate bringing democratic self-rule to San Diego County with as much fervor and perseverance as we approach Iraq and all foreign nations. In the defunct Soviet Union there were parallel hierarchies of "authority" One was the formal pro forma government bodies. The other hierarchy was that of the CPSU. The latter hierarchy is where all power truly lay. The five supervisors are merely stand-ins or proxies for the true decision-makers of San Diego. In the Soviet Union Communism was the ideology which was supreme. In San Diego, the acquisition of wealth is the supreme ideology. The Supervisors are just as committed to their ideology$$$, as the Soviet Politburo was committed to their ideology. Greg Duch

Greg Duch from Centre City
April 16, 2008 at 09:56 PM
Bring Democracy to the County of San Diego I think that the aspect of the Board of Supervisors which is most in violation of democratic government is the absence of any system of Checks and Balances over the actions of the Board. The Board serves as the County's: 1. Legislative Branch of government- it makes the laws 2. Executive Branch of government- it enforces the laws 3. It provides administrative oversight over the county's bureaucracy. 4,. It even interprets law, as a de facto Judicial Branch-- as in the case of redistricting the the Board's five districts.Or, as in the desire to overturn the medical marijuana law. This wide swath of powers are freely, almost without limit, exercised behind closed doors by the five feudal barons ruling over the 3 million serfs of San Diego County is so similar to the Soviet Union's politburo's iron grip over life in the Soviet Union.