Accountability, Integrity and Open Government
Kevin is focused on bringing financial stability, transparency and accountability back to City Hall.
Solving San Diego's financial crisis was Kevin's immediate priority as he assumed office. In 2006, when Kevin was elected, the City was in financial turmoil and engulfed in scandal due to the misconduct of past administrations. The City was under investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to disclose the City's true pension debt in municipal bond offerings and subsequently the City was shut out from the municipal bond market.
A culture of spend now, pay later, pervaded City Hall. These irresponsible financial practices led to the current pension crisis and systemic underfunding and neglect of the City's network of streets and facilities. Since being elected, Kevin has dedicated himself to changing the culture at City Hall, solving San Diego's financial problems and creating an environment of integrity and accountability. Kevin has worked hard to protect San Diego taxpayers by improving the City's internal controls and fraud preventative measures. These actions to stabilize the City's finances have helped reestablish the City's credit rating and allowed for the City to reenter the municipal bond market so it can complete more neighborhood projects like street repair.
Creating Accountability with an Independent Auditor
As Chair of the Audit Committee, Kevin works with the City Auditor to find ways to reduce costs, eliminate waste and the increase the effectiveness and efficiency of City government. In that position, Kevin has helped strengthened internal controls and identify millions in savings by reforming inefficiencies in City government.
Fixing More Potholes-Faster
This year, Kevin called for an audit to investigate the City's failing pothole repair system. This audit led to significant reforms and has fundamentally changed how City crews repair potholes.
Previously, City crews would fill potholes in the order they received complaints without coordinating locations. This led to wasteful practices. City crews would drive to a neighborhood, fill one pothole, and then drive to next neighborhood on the list to fill another pothole regardless of location. A "proactive pothole repair" model, as suggested in the audit, allows the City to fill more potholes in less time for a lower cost.
Improving Public Safety Response Times
After a performance audit of the City's Fire-Rescue Department it was clear there was an opportunity to improve response times. After implementing the recommendations from the audit, emergency response times were improved by up to 45 seconds.
Eliminating Wasteful Bonus Program
As Chair of the Audit Committee, Kevin called an audit of the controversial bonus program in the City's water department which helped lead to its discontinuation. After a thorough investigation, it was clear the program was ineffective and lacked sufficient internal controls and oversight. Bonuses were much higher than reported. Further, some of the performance metrics and goals set for the program were not measurable goals - employees received credit for simple tasks such as hiring a consulting or just completing a performance report for the Bid to Goal program itself. Thanks to Kevin's leadership, the program has ended and more money from San Diego's water and wastewater bills is spent on repairing water and sewer lines.
Commitment to Transparency and Open Government
Kevin is committed to government transparency and open government. Kevin has opposed proposals to charge the public for public record requests to maximize open access and accountability and voted to approve measures to place employee compensation and City contracts online.
The Sunshine Act: Posting City Contracts and Employee Compensation Online
In October 2012 Kevin supported the Sunshine Act to create greater transparency for City contracts. Specifically, the Sunshine Act requires that all City contracts greater than $25,000 be posted online in a searchable and well-organized format for access by the public. The Sunshine Act also requires employee compensation information as mandated and defined by the State Controller's Office for the preceding five years to be posted online for the public to see.
No Fee Increases for Public Records Requests
In 2012, the City proposed charging members of the public to receive City records electronically and billing members of the public for the time it takes the City to compile records when they are requested from the public under the California Public Records Request Act (PRA). Kevin strongly opposed this measure since it would limit the ability for the public to access information at the City. Kevin is committed to having a transparent and open City government and is opposed to any measure that would impact the public's ability to access information.