April 16, 2015
Our special guests were those whose help was invaluable in getting our holiday flag program back on track.
City Councilman Todd Gloria accompanied by his assistant Anthony Bernal. Among other things, Todd reimbursed us for the approximately $2,000.00 cost of our permit and helped steer us through the city’s legal maze. Thank you Todd!
Four members of the University Heights Commercial Association: President Bernie Horan, Maryann Stevens, Nan McGraw and Ron Oliver. Not only did the Association go to bat for us, but they started a whole new route, sold subscriptions, obtained the permission signatures from all of our accounts, not just theirs, as required by the city, wrote us a nice check, and their members now personally put flags out on their route on each of our holidays with all the subscriptions going to our charity treasury.
- Ben Nichols of the Hillcrest Business Association who was a great supporter in our cause. His association has added flags to the Hillcrest route.
- Mike Turco of KUSI TV who took our plight to TV which shook things up at City Hall and helped us to continue with the program until we received the required permits.
- Bill Snipes who helped us through the city’s legal maze. And last but not least:
- Bob Duggan with his wife Laura. Bob is a multiple flag customer and when he received our letter advising him we were going to have to discontinue the flag service and the reason why, I think he called everyone except the White House in protest, getting the attention of City Officials who then overrode the bureaucrat who sent us the cease and desist letter, allowing us to continue until we were able to jump through the required legal hoops. As he said, “Don’t mess with an Irishman.”
Each of these wonderful people was given a plaque, a LIONS pin and a loud round of applause.
Our speaker today was Councilman Todd Gloria who touched on some of the highlights in the city. We have come a long way since the great recession when all city services had to be severely cut back. Many of those services have been restored and the city is on much better financial footing. The budget now being considered by the Council totals $3,200,000,000 (yes, that’s billions). Of that, $1,200,000,000 is discretionary. A primary focus is on infrastructure repair such as deferred road maintenance. Another hot button is police retention. Thirteen officers are lost each month to other agencies in the county with higher pay scales. It costs $100,000 to train a new officer so retention is critical and funds have been allocated to raise the pay scale. On the Chargers, Todd wants them to stay and generally supports the current task force process although he has some reservations on the way it is organized.
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