2018 23rd Annual Goldens
GRAND GOLDEN WATCHDOG AWARD:
City of San Diego: Chollas Creek Project Cost Savings
The City of San Diego was facing new pollution regulations that were projected to rack up $870 million in costs over 20 years. City technical staff dove into the new regulations and how data were being measured in Chollas Creek, identifying a way to measure dissolved metals more accurately. Cost savings resulting from avoiding unnecessary expenditures can now be directed toward addressing other pollutants to improve water quality at the Chollas Creek watershed and Citywide.
REGIONAL GOLDEN WATCHDOG AWARD:
San Dieguito Union High School District & Solana Beach School District: Collaboration During Construction
The districts worked collaboratively to create a partnership whereby SBSD would be a tenant of SDUHSD during the 2017-18 school year required to rebuild Skyline School. This kept students in the same community, thus reducing traffic on the I-5 corridor; saved Measure JJ the expense of building an interim campus; and shortened the overall construction duration to 14 months — saving an estimated $10 million.
METRO GOLDEN WATCHDOG AWARD:
City of San Diego: Adult-Use Cannabis Regulations
Rather than waiting until after state voters approved Prop 64, allowing adult use of cannabis, to address inevitable tax and planning issues, the City of San Diego and City Attorney's Office worked proactively to ensure ordinances were in place to avoid a delay in regulations on recreational adult use marijuana. By thinking ahead, the City was ready to collect taxes on cannabis products the first day retail shops were able to sell recreational cannabis. By proactively tackling development of a regulatory structure, the City ensured permitted dispensaries would be in place, reducing the chance a black market would flourish — and also saving City staff time and money by reducing the number of hearings.
PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP AWARD:
Downtown San Diego Partnership, San Diego Housing Commission, City of San Diego, County of San Diego, Sharp HealthCare, and Traveler’s Aid: Family Reunification Program
Through the Family Reunification Program, the Downtown Partnership has connected 1,700 people with their families and loved ones. The program has been highly effective at diverting people from life on the streets of San Diego, improving their quality of life and saving San Diego taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in services for each individual who is no longer living on the streets.
MEDIA WATCHDOG AWARD:
Mario Koran and Ashly McGlone, Voice of San Diego: Coverage of Sexual Misconduct Cases in San Diego School Districts
Over the last year, Voice of San Diego reporters have investigated stories related to sexual misconduct at different school districts throughout San Diego County. For too long and despite repeated tragic incidents, Ashly McGlone and Mario Koran’s stories reveal school districts that lack the internal policies, procedures, and transparency to address sexual misconduct within their schools. Amid the #MeToo movement, these reporters investigated longtime misconduct, spurring district investigations and disciplinary actions, gaining the attention of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
GRAND GOLDEN FLEECE Award:
Hepatitis A Prevention & Response:
County of San Diego, City of San Diego, City of Carlsbad, City of Chula Vista, City of Coronado, City of Del Mar, City of El Cajon, City of Encinitas, City of Escondido, City of Imperial Beach, City of La Mesa, City of Lemon Grove, City of National City, City of Oceanside, City of Poway, City of San Marcos, City of Santee, City of Solana Beach, City of Vista. But why stop there? The State of California is responsible for protecting the health of Californians, and the Federal government oversees critical funds and housing programs. It shouldn’t be a fantasy to have the various jurisdictions live up to their respective responsibilities, collaborate and work together to ensure the most vulnerable San Diegans aren’t sickened or killed by preventable diseases.
REGIONAL FLEECE Award:
San Diego Regional Association of Governments: My Kingdom for a Bike Lane!
SANDAG has spent $61 million on its Bike Early Action Program — but to date, the agency has completed less than four miles of bike lanes. The agency has spent so much money and time trying to achieve consensus that bike lane costs have amounted to $15.25 million per mile. SANDAG has also pushed several project start dates into 2019 and 2020 — failing to live up to a January promise to start eight projects before the end of 2018.
METRO FLEECE Award:
City of San Diego: When You Wish Upon STVR
After three years of town halls, community meetings and hearings — including a fruitless, 10-hour City Council meeting in December — San Diego’s policy makers have failed to reach consensus on how to regulate Short Term Vacation Rentals. Dozens of hearings have San Diego still waiting... and wishing upon a star for decisive STVR regulations!