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S.D. City Parking Board Volunteers Must Now File Conflict Of Interest Forms

Volunteer members of community parking boards in the City of San Diego will have to file conflict of interest forms, under a code adopted by the City Council.

San Diego has six parking districts and the parking boards manage almost half of the parking fees collected by the city.

The City Council has been hesitant to force volunteer parking boards to file conflict of interest forms. Council members were concerned that it would discourage people from volunteering for boards. Also, the City’s Ethics Commission said it does not have enough resources to enforce more conflict of interest codes at the city.

But the city is now under pressure. The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission has written to San Diego twice, saying the city must change the code before March 15, 2010.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said local community parking boards sometimes control large sums of public money.

“I looked at the web site of Uptown Partnership, for example," Goldsmtih said. "And they spend a lot of public money. This council and this city needs to require that they file their conflict of interest forms.”

The chair of the La Jolla parking board stepped down in 2007 after an allegation that he had a conflict of interest.

The City Council acknowledged many volunteer board members may be taken by surprise by the new regulation, but they voted to comply with the state’s demand.